A new website aimed at helping immigrants navigate moving to and settling in Lisbon will be launched Feb. 26.
The site, Lisboa Acolhe, set out to gather the information an immigrant just arriving in Lisbon will need to know. The program surged from an initial partnership with Casa do Brasil and Lisbon’s City Council, Atlas spoke with Ana Paula Costa, a member of Casa do Brasil’s board, to gain a better understanding of just what you will be able to find on the new website.
Costa tells us that the main objective is to help immigrants “decode” information and in this way promote equal rights. Lisboa Acolhe offers information about the services offered by both public and private institutions that are available to immigrants in the city. The site also provides vital information about public entities such as Finanças, Segurança Social, and Serviços de Estrangeiros e Fronteiras (SEF), and informs immigrants of their responsibilities and obligations towards these institutions.
The scope of the information it offers goes beyond Portuguese bureaucracy. The site also offers very practical information, such as:
- access to housing and how to sign a lease
- healthcare and how to get services
- employment and understanding work contracts, and green receipts
- education and how to gain entrance into university or technical training courses
- gender equality, as well as information and services for women who want to leave situations of domestic violence
- Information about voting as an immigrant
The range of information included on the site was determined by a series of focus groups, composed of immigrants who shared their first-hand accounts of questions and difficulties they faced when they arrived in the city — in all,151 individuals took part. As Costa puts it, “this is a site built by immigrants for immigrants.”
The site will be launched in Portuguese today, and they hope to have the English version of the site up and running in the coming weeks.