On the night of 15th October fires raged throughout Central Portugal killing 44 people and destroying the land and homes of hundreds, including my daughter Caroline.
I happened to be visiting Caroline to celebrate the new home she had worked on for four years. Living in a van, saving and working with love to create this wonderful place. It was almost complete, and we were enjoying the space, relieved that this winter she would finally be warm and secure in her new home.
The inferno that hit Central Portugal put an end to our celebration by destroying the house, van, shelter, kitchen and land. Nothing was spared.
The fire came into the valley fast from all directions due to Hurricane Ophelia, and we had to evacuate in haste. We fled to the nearest village of Benfeita, and with many other families, were surrounded by fire fleeing for our lives to the village church to sit it out until the fire passed on.
The utter destruction we faced the next morning is beyond words. The land was black, vegetation stripped away. We had been able to take Molly the dog with us when we ran, but the two cats had run. Four days after the fire we found Fooboo, terrified, burnt and barely alive, but slowly and surely he is recovering, Caroline is still searching for Kushi daily.
In Portugal you are unable to insure your home until it is 100% completed, leaving Caroline homeless, with no belongings, no insurance, no income. She is currently staying with friends who were fortunate to have saved their home.
I have nothing but admiration for Caroline and her community of brave, courageous people who are trying to live a simple life making as little impact on the natural environment as possible. They are determined to fight on and rebuild.
Please help us raise funds to help Caroline create a shelter, so she can begin the long slow process of rebuilding her home
300 Euros for a 2nd hand caravan
200 Euros for a water tank ( Caroline will plumb in herself)
2000 for a solar system
200 for basic tools
300 for materials for basic shelter