About the Program

About the Program

This program has been set-up to assist victims of major disasters in the Algarve (and the rest of Portugal) - in special disaster situations we may assist across-borders. We classify major disasters to be fires, tsunamis, serious eartquakes, serious local economic meltdows, health "pandemics" and any other major event that impacts on large sectors of the country.


The typical disasters that the Algarve faces year-after-year are massive felt and forest fires that race through hundreds or even thousands of acres of land. These fires have destroyed hundreds of homes, many livelihoods, animal and human lives.

Since June 2017, members of our executive team and many of our volunteers have been directly involved in assisting fire victims. Their direct support started during the major fires that devasted large areas in the center of Portugal - many lives where lost in the 2017 fires - both animal as well as human. It was a devastating time for all. This was followed by a big fire in Monchique (Algarve) in 2018, and many others since then. Its nearly an annual occurrence.

The assistance we provide includes procuring and providing items of first necessity such as clothing, food and temporary accommodation, but also practical tips and guidance.

Out of our experiences in the field, and with the help of many people, we have put together some guidelines about various issues that affect fire victims immediately after a fire, as well as in the medium and long term.

Volcanic Eruptions

Although Portugal mainland is not typically a volcanic zone, Portugal does have two volcanic islands, namely Madeira and Açores. In close proximity to Madeira we find the Canary Islands as well. In addition we are aware of some volcanic activity in the ocean surrounding the Algarve coast. As a result we felt it was appropriate to create an info section dealing with the volcanic ash and gases risks. You will find a section under resources with some articles that we trust will assist. The tips we publish under this section is a result of extensive desktop research.


Early in 2020 with the declaration of a global health pandemic by governments accross the world, devastating impacts on the sustainability of local communities is already been felt by many local residents and small business owners. In an endeavour to assist in mitigating some of the negative impacts, Empowerment Gateway has implemented a few direct support programs in the Algarve.

Financial Stress

In this section you will find a series of short articles that we hope will assist you, and go a long way towards minimising your stress levels because of financial sustainability impacts resulting from unplanned events.