7 July 2020, Lagos, Algarve – ASMAA, Algarve Surf & Marine Activities Association, best known for being instrumental in stopping oil and gas exploration in the Algarve – which was our primary cause since 2012 - announced today that it has handed over its social division to a London based not-for-profit organisation, that is currently busy opening its doors in the Algarve.
ASMAA’s social division, active since 2016 focused on providing assistance to people facing poverty and homelessness; provided food to those in need across the Western Algarve; and provided disaster support with items of first necessity to fire victims.
One thing that the legal battle to stop the last oil and gas exploration contracts in Algarve taught us, was that to successfully address any serious campaign it required 100% of our attention. As a result of focusing on the oil fight, our social division suffered, as we were unable to really grow it or give it the attention that it needed.
After many months of brain storming, our board agreed that the next big cause that ASMAA would get involved in - and which is bigger than our fight against oil and gas exploration in the Algarve - would be a campaign against the roll-out of 5G, Smart Cities, IoT (Internet of Things), etc. For this campaign to have a chance of success, we need to be cognisant of the more than 250 complex impact areas that forms part of the macro environment.
This decision had serious implications. It meant that we needed to find a suitable home for our social division. The decision to hand over our social division to an approved NGO was then made during the last quarter of 2019.
With the Covid19 crisis and subsequent global lockdowns - resulting in massive negative economic impacts across the world and significant negative impacts to an Algarve dependent on tourism – new challenges were identified such as: - increased risks of unemployment, more small and medium size business closures as well as other related social ills.
The above set of circumstances, motivated the ASMAA team to speed-up the handover process, because if we were already struggling to address the needs of our social division, with the added challenges thrown in our path, we could not see a way to effectively keep on managing and running this division as well as the campaigns against other serious issues identified above.
We are happy to announce that a London registered NGO, has taken over the work already started by ASMAA, such as continued support for fire victims, the management and operations of the “Food-for-Thought” program, the planed “Arts & Crafts” open-air Saturday's market in Lagos, as well as the "Treasure Chest" charity shop and supporting warehouse located in the Marateca Industrial Zone in Lagos.
The economic downturn that everyone in the Algarve is facing and which negative impacts will be felt for at least another 12 to 18 months, means that the continuation of the social causes delivery programs that we at ASMAA care a lot about, is essential.
Their team has vast experience in creating and managing social delivery projects in Africa aimed at poverty alleviation, distribution of food parcels to these in need, refugee relocation assistance, and have experience in many more areas of social impact.
Some current as well as former ASMAA volunteers will work for and be directly involved with the London based NGO. This organisation will work in collaboration with other organisations and liase with the appropriate government bodies to ensure their objectives are reached successfully.
ASMAA thanks all current and former volunteers for their dedication and hard work in bringing past campaigns to a successful completion. We thank all our donors, friends and other supporters spread across the world that have supported ASMAA’s vision and mission for over 8 years. ASMAA could not have done it without each and everyone’s commitment and support.
As we move forward, we ask that each one of you follow your heart and support the causes closest to it – be it the new activism against 5G that will be managed by ASMAA, or the social support programs that will be run by our London friends at E.G.
More information from both E.G. and ASMAA will be released over the next few weeks…