The Honorary Chairwoman’s Message

The Instituto de Apoio á Criança (IAC) was born as a result of the inspiration of João dos Santos, a physician and educator of great sensitivity and reputation, who knew that “a childhood policy must be the work of the entire community with active and widespread participation of people and in the coordinated work of the institutions”.

The IAC is a non-profit institution, created in 1983 by a group of people from different professional areas – doctors, magistrates, teachers, psychologists, jurists, sociologists, social service specialists, educators and many others. Its main objective is to contribute to the integral development of the child, in the defense and promotion of their rights, with the child being seen as a subject of rights in the family, school, health, social security or in their free time.

It aims to stimulate, support and disseminate the work of all those concerned with the search for new answers to the problems of children in Portugal, as well as collaborating with similar institutions, both national and foreign.

With information and awareness programmes, with projects of direct intervention in areas previously covered neither by the State nor by other entities, the IAC followed this path, in defense of better conditions, more well-being and more dignity for the Child.

In order to pursue its projects, the IAC carries out information and awareness-raising actions and also has direct intervention in areas not secured by the State or by other entities, namely the SOS-Criança/Missing Child Services; Projecto Rua/Em Família para Crescer (Project Street/In Family to Grow); Actividade Lúdica (Playful Activity); Legal Service; Humanization of Child Care Services and Center for Studies, Documentation and Information on Children.

These are new times and new realities which the IAC seeks to accompany, developing innovative forms of intervention with children, such as street animators, school animators, solidarity agents, institutional mediation, young volunteers and students university students, especially in the areas of Social Sciences and Humanities.

Following this line, in 2010 the IAC expands its presence on the Internet through this website, Facebook, the blog Crianças a Torto e a Direitos, etc., providing more information and thus contributing to the formation of a culture of participation, thanks to the development of communication and information technologies, globalization and the evolution of citizenship, with the aim of uniting people in the Defense and Promotion of the Rights of the Child.

Since 1983, the IAC has been an important reality at the service of children, the family and the community, especially for many children, any support they lack, guaranteeing their rights, interests and needs.

We know that we are not going to solve all the problems of children in danger, unloved, missing and sexually exploited and who suffer so acutely from the consequences of a society so often dehumanized and socially unjust.

João dos Santos, the founding partner of the Instituto de Apoio à Criança said, “man’s destiny is determined by the way he is raised, by the warmth of the arms that extend to him, by the ideology that surrounds him and the freedom that it is provided for him to imagine, experiment and think”.

I wish you good navigation on the IAC‘s website.

The Honorary Chairwoman
Manuela Ramalho Eanes