(Photo: Fuller Center for Housing President David Snell and Fuller Center for Housing Portugal Board President Helena Pina Vaz sign their copies of the covenant partnership during a Zoom meeting on Wednesday.)
Portugal becomes Fuller Center’s first international covenant partner in Western Europe
The Fuller Center for Housing’s ministry now has its first covenant partner in Western Europe as The Fuller Center for Housing Portugal has joined the ranks of international Fuller Center partners. The group has been working for a quarter-century under the umbrella of another housing nonprofit and has helped more than 100 families have simple, decent places to live in that time.
“We are so happy to be welcoming our first partner in Western Europe, especially a partner so strong and experienced,” Vice President of International Programs Ryan Iafigliola said. “The fact that The Fuller Center’s model is one of choice for places as divergent as Georgia and Haiti and Portugal is testimony to this idea that we can carry forth.”
“We’re extremely excited to be able to start initiating projects and doing what we really want, which is bringing up these houses for the community that needs it the most,” said Fuller Center Portugal Vice-Chairman Ricardo Oliveira, a renowned and award-winning architect whose projects span the globe but whose heart is in Braga.
“It’s a new hope,” Fuller Center Portugal President Helena Pina Vaz said moments before signing her name on the covenant partnership agreement Wednesday morning (afternoon in Portugal).
Braga is located in picturesque northwest Portugal, about 15 miles from the Atlantic coastline and about 25 miles from its nearest border with Spain. Poverty housing may not be the first thing that comes to mind when most people think of this area with its scenic landscape and stunning architecture, but there are pockets of poverty and many homes throughout the area in dangerous stages of disrepair. Repairing or replacing these structures in partnership with homeowner families is Fuller Center Portugal’s mission.
Helping with that mission soon will be teams of Fuller Center Global Builders volunteers, who are sure to enjoy the hosting facilities that can comfortable accommodate teams of up to 15 volunteers. (See gallery below)
“I have the feeling that convincing volunteer teams to go to beautiful Portugal isn’t going to take a lot of arm-twisting!” Iafigliola said. “And for good reason. But we will put you to work.”
Stay tuned to FullerCenter.org and Fuller Center for Housing social media channels for announcements about Global Builders trips to Portugal.