125 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 19.3.2022

Mar 20, 2022 at 5:20 pm | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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João Mota, one of the administrators of the Foundation Cecilia Zino, gave us a presentation of the Foundation’s history and work.

The website is https://fundacaozino.com/, with an English version.

Cecilia Rose Zino created the foundation in 1961, and used an old hotel building owned by the family, to install a children’s hospital in 1961. (The Nélio Mendonca Hospital only opened in 1973.) The hospital played an important role in the last Polio outbreak in 1972 on the island.

After the opening of the N.M. Hospital, the Zino hospital was turned into a residential facility for children from poor families on the island. The Foundation used funds from the stock market to finance the work on a private basis.

The Foundation had plenty of staff; at times, the Home harboured more than 40 children. The service also relied on four Dominican Nuns which supervised the work very efficiently, from 1963 until their retirement in 2020. When a Nun leaves the service, three people have to be hired to replace her because the nuns worked 24/7.

The children who arrive at the Foundation are taken out of the families for various reasons, and given into the care of the Foundation. At this time, the Foundation as 15 children, from the age of 3 to 18. Even if a youngster turns 18, he/she will be assisted in various ways until the age of 26 years. (In Germany, children who turn 18, are on their own.)

The Foundation receives interest from the stock market; it also has rental properties which bring in additional money to cover the costs. In 2018, the costs were at around 600.000€/year. Now, with less children and staff, the cost has been lowered to a manageable amount. Still, the Foundation will be asking for Government support, also in view of the fact that the State intends to send more “problem” cases to the Foundation. They know that the Foundation has excellent staff with good training and a 1:1 ratio between staff and children. (There are six institutions on the island for the support of foster children and orphans.)

We have to keep in mind that these children need a lot of care; the families they come from, have serious problems with alcohol, drugs, violence and sexual exploitation.

The Foundation has new projects:

A new building for the now smaller group of children is to be built in Funchal.

A program to not only help needy children but also to assist their often-troubled families.

Scholarships for youngsters who are going to university and into professional training, until the age of 26.

Culture trips for the Children to visit museums in Lisbon and Porto.

Art Exhibitions: The Foundations offers a space in Rua do Bettencourt for young artists who are looking for promotors, they have interesting exhibitions, the topics always have to do with children and their world.

The Cultural Passport: The Foundation also started a project with the cultural passport, to incentivize children to visit museums and art galleries on the island. (The public museums are already covered by the schools.) The children get a stamp or two for a visit to an art gallery etc. In a lottery, they can then win a trip to Madrid or another city, or win iPads and other electronic devices. The Restock Gallery will be included in this project.

The vegetable plots in the Garden have been replanted, the children simply do not have much time to learn and do gardening work. They have to be taken to the public schools early, return often around 17, then they may have a meeting with a psychologist or speech therapy etc. and on the weekends, they often visit their families.

In the current war situation, the Foundation offered 5-6 beds to the Government for children from the Ukraine but the offer (as was in the case of the Syrian refugees) was not taken up by the state, citing bureaucratic problems.

Our thanks go to MZ and João Mota for the presentation!


69 Madeira Consorcio Meeting 21.5.2015

May 24, 2015 at 11:26 am | Posted in Posts | Leave a comment
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I We visited the Cecilia Zino Foundation; we also invited Dr. C. P. from the Central Hospital to join us for a discussion.

He has an interesting CV, he worked in Latin America and other European countries before coming back to Madeira. He is a General Surgeon in Mendonça since long time.

He is very much in favour of building a new hospital. For technical reasons, it is just not possible to upgrade the old building to the technical requirements of modern medicine. Sepsis is a great danger because of the impossibility to keep the place hygienic as it is, this has nothing to do with cleanliness.

Land which belonged to the hospital grounds has been used to construct a school and a Bairro Social long time ago so there is no space to build a proper annex.

In any case, there needs to be the political will to build a new hospital; much of the funding would come from the mainland. In this case, the 80 Mio invested so far in the old building would go to waste.

Where should the new hospital be?

There are the usual problems to acquire the necessary land in S. Rita, as land owners are greedy to get as much as possible out of their property.

We fantasized a bit: Praia Formosa is the only big piece of land left in FNC but the new hospital only needs to be near the Via Rapida. A few more minutes of transport in an Emir Ambulance doesn’t have an impact on the patients’ mortality rate. A place between FNC and Gaula, for example, would be good as well. The razed Savoy building left a platform, this would also be ideal for a new Hospital.

III U. gave out a third version of her text “Redistribution of Wealth”, to be discussed in a future meeting.

We shall have our next meeting on June 18.





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