CEBI – a Foundation for the Community Development of Alverca, also known as CEBI Foundation, is a non-profit social solidarity private institution, which directs its activity towards children, young adults, elderly people and families, taking in particular account the most disadvantaged. Based in Alverca, in Vila Franca de Xira, where its activities began in 1968, from the initiative and will to intervene of a group of residents from this city, led by José Álvaro Vidal, its growth was defined in accordance with innovative responses that were adequate to the pressing social needs.
Currently CEBI is a member of the board of the Portuguese Foundation Centre and member of the Ibero-American Network of Civil and Community Foundations.
In its initial format, CEBI – Centro de Bem-Estar Infantil (Children Welfare Centre) started its activity as a kindergarten, with the support of Alverca’s local church. The local Entities took interest in the actions that were taking place, and contributed to its growth and development. OGMA – Oficinas Gerais de Material Aeronáutico S.A. currently, OGMA – Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal S.A.(Aviation Industry), and Vila Franca’s City Hall were an example of that, by taking part, from an early beginning, in this project.
After a long process of transformation, on 25th November 1995, CEBI was marked as a Foundation, instituting the following founding elements: the Association LAC - Liga de Amigos do CEBI, a bank Companhia Geral de Crédito Predial Português. S.A., integrated by Santander Totta, OGMA – Indústria Aeronáutica de Portugal S.A and Vila Franca de Xira’s City Hall.
Throughout its existence, CEBI has created responses in order to combat exclusion and poverty and in order to create a more caring and inclusive society, especially in the fields of Education, Social Work and Health, daily supporting, through its vast branch of activities, around 3000 families and by being an important career maker, with over 400 workers.
The various configurations of the organic structure of the CEBI Foundation have always had the purpose of bettering the ability to respond to the social, educational and health related needs of the community, as an active agent of change – ‘the important was to be useful to others, transform wishes into accomplished tasks, make solutions out of concerns, create opportunities where some only saw obstacles’ – as is referred in the book “Por Todos” edited in the 40th anniversary of CEBI.
Its intervention is extended far from the city of Alverca. The Ericeira Centre, in Mafra, is an example of that.
Cebi Foundation’s constitution and growth has been made around a set of values and principles, which are presente in our daily activity. Having the values of equity of opportunities and of social cohesion and environmental defense as the basis of our principles of humanism, solidarity and sustainable development, we define our Mission and establish our Vision:
To support the effective development of the Community, particularly its most vulnerable groups, through the best service practices, so that they can achieve a better quality of life.
To be recognized as a reference Institution, with proper and structured interventions, which guarantee the Community’s sustainable development.
Areas of Intervention
In its various areas, has become an important unifying pole of activities of the CEBI Foundation. In 1999 the several educational areas of the CEBI were given the name of Colégio José Álvaro Vidal. As a complex and collaborative action, developed at Colégio José Álvaro Vidal, stands out not only for the high number of students who attend it, more than 1600 children and teenagers, from nursery level to the 9th grade. It also offers many Enrichment Curricular Activities developing the areas of Art, Arts and Crafts and Sports; Holiday Camps, as well as diversified spaces for free-time activities and learning, pointing out Clube de Jovens, that offers entertaining activities directed to children and teenagers who attend Colégio José Álvaro Vidal or other schools.
The Social and Community Intervention Department (SCID)aims to offer the community where it is based a multidimensional response, which allows the improvement of people and families’ quality of life, by means of the development of its potentialities, contributing this way to the promotion of their autonomy, self-esteem and management of their life projects. The main goal is to promote integrated responses in the areas of social intervention, psychology and community development which are suitable for the corresponding necessities. This intervention is grounded on a culture of partnerships, which is based upon a network of services and community resources of the Foundation itself.
The Elderly Support Department, through different care services such as , the Nursing Home Centre, Day Care Centre and Home Care Service, has as a main goal to be able to respond to the basic and multiple demands of the citizens in and around the urban area of Alverca. This department has a great range of diversified spaces for amusement, playtherapy, gymnastics, physiotherapy, hair salons, a chapel, among others.
CEBI Foundation’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic, working since 1995 in its current place, is located in the Nortejo building, near its base in Alverca. It gathers an important experience of personalized staff in the area of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation – physiatry and mesotherapy consults, mesotherapy treatments, physical therapy, speech therapy, occupational therapy and chock wave treatments – in view of a rapid rehabilitation of the most varied pathologies of the rheumatology, traumatology, neurology, pulmonology and paediatric fields.
The Clinic also assumes an important social part when it comes to the specificity of treatments offered, mainly the Paediatric Rehabilitation with treatment and evaluation of children with chronic pathologies from the neurologic area.