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    Reception Guide - Portugal

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    Reception Guide - Portugal

    Conselho Português para os Refugiados (CPR), is a Portuguese NGO that supports refugees and asylum seekers in Portugal. We have prepared this guide in order to help you navigate your everyday life. This guide has been designed in response to the most common questions asked by refugees and in complement to the cultural orientation sessions provided by IOM, that you have already attended.

    People in Portugal will not always act according to what is described by this guide, however these are the most common practices for most people, most of the time!

    GOOD LUCK, AND WELCOME TO PORTUGAL!

    • PORTUGAL IS THE MOST WESTERN COUNTRY IN EUROPE. In addition to its’ continental territory, it has two different archipelagos: Azores (9 main islands) and Madeira (2 main islands and 2 sets of inhabited islands).

    • THE OFFICIAL LANGUAGE OF PORTUGAL IS PORTUGUESE, one of the most spoken languages in the World, ranking number 6. It is spoken by 215 Million speakers in different continents (Brazil, Goa, Angola, Mozambique, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, São Tomé and Príncipe, and Macau).

    • The Portuguese language is inspired by many languages, including Arabic, with over 800 words originating from this language. This is due to the occupation of Portugal by Muslim powers from the 8th century to the 15th century which also left some influence in architecture and culture.

    • RACISM AND DISCRIMINATION ARE STRICTLY FORBIDDEN BY THE PORTUGUESE LAW.

    1. PORTUGAL – IMPORTANT FACTS

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    Reception Guide - Portugal

    • MOST OF THE POPULATION IS ROMAN CATHOLIC HOWEVER, many of the Catholics do not practice their religion on a regular basis. There are other religious groups among the population such as Jewish, Muslims, Protestants, Hindus, Buddhists. In Portugal there are approximately 50 000 Muslims forming a very dynamic community.

    • FREEDOM OF RELIGION IS A FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT OF ALL INDIVIDUALS enshrined in the Constitution. In Portugal, the State is separated from the Church. This means that the State does not adopt any religion and that all official churches are free and act separately from the State.

    • PORTUGUESE HAVE A RICH CULTURE that results from a variety of historical contexts namely from the colonial period. Many traditions are also in place such as dance and music. Fado is one of the traditional music genres in Portugal and it is something Portuguese people are very proud of.

    • PORTUGAL’S CURRENCY IS THE EURO. The economy is still fragile due to the financial crisis but the GDP has been slowly recovering and unemployment is decreasing.

    At the airport:

    UPON ARRIVAL, YOU WILL BE RECEIVED AND ASSISTED BY IOM, SEF, ACM AND BY A TEAM FROM CONSELHO PORTUGUÊS PARA OS REFUGIADOS (CPR). CPR is a Portuguese NGO, working with a network of over 18 cities / municipalities which are available to receive and integrate refugees at local level.

    In cooperation with CPR, there are multidisciplinary teams in the municipalities, responsible for the refugees’ reception and integration at the following levels:

    Health and wellness;

    Housing;

    Legal support;

    Integration into education system (in the case of minors);

    Portuguese language / alphabetization classes;

    Identification of professional profiles for labour integration;

    Community groups and volunteers.V

    2. ARRIVAL

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    Reception Guide - Portugal

    YOU WILL RECEIVE HELP FROM NGOS FOR A PERIOD OF 18 MONTHS WITH THE PURPOSE OF HELPING YOU BECOME INDEPENDENT AND SELF-SUFFICIENT. IT IS A DEMANDING PROCESS AND YOU NEED TO WORK HARD TO ACHIEVE AUTONOMY!

    What support you will receive during the resettlement program?

    In the first 18 months you will be allocated a case worker that will support you in your integration process, namely:

    • Upon arrival, you will be referred by the NGOs to the National Health System for registration, medical appointments, and medical exams; • Portuguese language and / or literacy classes.; • Accommodation; • Pocket money for your daily needs (amount granted according to household composition); • Social support and house visits by social worker; • Sociocultural and sports activities; • Help with obtaining a fiscal number and opening a bank account; • Legal counselling; • Employment support; • Support for initial administrative steps; • Psychological support, if needed; • Refugee children (below 18 years old) will access education upon arrival, according to the school grade corresponding to their age in the Portuguese education system or also according to previous school records from home countries / first asylum country; • Cultural Orientation Sessions, aimed at increasing knowledge about Portuguese life and society, will be provided.

    About Accomodation:

    • The first 30 to 90 days, will be temporarily housed in the Refugee Reception Centre (CARII), where you will have basic services provided by a specialized and experienced team. During this period, you will have access to legal support, Portuguese classes (initiation level), cultural orientation programs, health and psychological support, which will facilitate the preparatory process of your dispersal and subsequent integration into a local community. • Given your profile information, and the analysis done during your stay in the reception in the reception centre, CPR has matched your profile to a municipality with available places, previously to your arrival in Portugal, in order to better address your main needs and concerns. • You will be granted with a furnished apartment. • Flats are equipped and furnished with basic equipment, beds, wardrobes, tables, chairs, sofas and kitchens equipped with basic appliances such as stove, water heater, refrigerator and kitchenware (cups, plates, pots, cutlery, etc.) as well as bed linen: sheets, bath and table linens, blankets. The utilities (electricity/ gas and water) are also included. • Families will receive individual housing, but refugees who travel alone will have to share a room / flat with other refugees. • You will stay in these apartments free of charge until the end of the resettlement programme. It is your responsibility to look for a place to live in after the program ends.

    About Pocket Money:

    Pocket money and support will be available for families and for single beneficiaries. The amount awarded is €150 per person. The pocket money is intended mainly for food and transportation expenses. All expenses related to health, medication, domestic services and housing are guaranteed by CPR after verification.

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    Reception Guide - Portugal

    Olá hello

    Bom dia good

    morning

    Boa tarde good

    afternoon

    Boa noite good

    evening

    Adeus goodbye

    The Portuguese are usually friendly and welcoming and approaching people with a smile usually offers better results. If you need assistance or directions, just ask any adult person – they will much likely help you!

    PORTUGAL is one of the few countries in Europe where nationalist or xenophobic movements are not relevant.

    Violent crime is rare and the country holds one of the lowest crime rates; these crimes occur generally on the basis of personal motives and not as part of theft or robbery.

    Weekends are usually intended for resting. Please make sure not to make too much noise, especially during the mornings, as many people opt for sleeping in to rest from their busy schedules. Sunday is the quietest day of the week, when many shops or smaller businesses may be closed. During the week, please observe silence in the hours between 10 pm and 8 am.

    For privacy, people often choose to close their doors. Do remember to knock on the door before you enter. It is a sign of good manners and respect for others.

    3. PUBLIC LIFE When using public transport, be mindful of those around you: keep your conversations in a quiet voice and offer your seat to the elderly, handicapped, sick of pregnant women – by Portuguese law, everyone in these conditions has priority over the rest of us.

    WAVING OR SHAKING HANDS ARE COMMON WAYS TO GREET ONE ANOTHER. Hugging or kissing on the cheek, between people from the same or the opposite sex, are extremely common as well, particularly among friends or people who might have closer relationships.

    Being punctual is important, particularly if you are going to a job interview. If, by any chance, you are late for something, do try to call ahead and give notice that you have been delayed.

    Throwing garbage or spitting on the ground, as well as urinating in public are not allowed in Portugal. Burping after a meal is also frowned upon and considered rude. Do no stare or wink and people that you do not know.

    In Portugal, the practice of the female genital mutilation is considered as an offence to physical integrity. For this reason, this practice is severely punished by law as a crime.

    Child marriage is also a crime. To get married you need to be over 18 or over 16 and have a permission from a parent or tutor. It is also required to have mutual consent, as both need to be free and conscious of this decision.

    Sexual exploitation and abuse, including domestic violence, are considered crimes and are punished by law.

    4. LIVING IN A COMMUNITY

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    Reception Guide - Portugal

    PORTUGUESE FOOD IS VERY DIVERSE AND OFTEN I

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