"It's just to show our recognition [...] It's important for us to show that they are not forgotten. Even far away, we think about them, the work they are doing and the time they spend away from their own families to help others," explained Suzette Fernandes, president of Hirond'ailes, in statements to Lusa news agency.
The association sewed 3,500 bags with small souvenirs that will be distributed in the hospitals of Santa Maria (Lisbon), Santo André (Leiria), Santa Luzia (Viana do Castelo), Sousa Martins (Guarda) and Rainha Santa Isabel (Torres Novas).
In addition to souvenirs such as small jewellery items, candles or hand creams, each bag also contains a poem by Lurdes Loureiro, a Portuguese writer living in France.
All the souvenirs were donated by Portuguese entrepreneurs living in France or of Portuguese descent, as well as the printing of the poems and their transport to Portugal. This action also had the support of Radio Alfa, the main radio station broadcasting in Portuguese in the Paris region.
The Hirond'ailes association gathers several seamstresses of Portuguese origin in the Paris region and intervenes mainly in solidarity actions, having produced more than seven thousand masks since the beginning of the confinement, which were donated to health professionals for the journeys between home and hospital and also to the most needy.