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10º aniversário da Associação Nacional de Doenças Mentais e Raras – Raríssimas
10º aniversário da Associação Nacional de Doenças Mentais e Raras – Raríssimas
Lisboa, 28 de Setembro de 2012 see more: 10º aniversário da Associação Nacional de Doenças Mentais e Raras – Raríssimas


Mrs Maria Cavaco Silva Speeches


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Speech delivered by Mrs. Cavaco Silva on the occasion of the Dinner-Award of the 8th Edition of the Active Woman Prize
Lisbon, 8 May 2008

When the scent of Spring is with us and the month of May approaches, I find myself frequently asking the staff if the Active Woman Prizes Magazine has already arrived.

With the many requests I receive, this one has a necessarily deep significance for me. I cannot forget that at the time of the year when the almost final result of the prize is reached (the party is being held tonight), I wait with some anticipation to know who were the nominees and read with enthusiasm the paths tread by the better classified ten that reached the final. A text which when read enriches me in such a way that I cannot find a way of expressing in words. Because there are so many good things which are not translatable into words and can only be kept in our hearts.

A relatively short while ago, D. Manuel Clemente, the current Bishop of Porto, whom I much admire and have known for years from our common place of work, the Portuguese Catholic University, stated in an interview, maybe with some dismay, that so much regard is given today to topics of death such as abortion and euthanasia, that man seems to have forgotten that, between those two frontiers of attack on life, in its beginning and at its end, there is life in its midst.

And it is our duty to care for it, to live it, to love it.

Maybe these were not the exact words, but that was the idea which made sense to me: the need for a culture of giving value to life at a time when it seems there is an excessive attraction for Thanatos. 

All we have to is read the newspapers or watch TV, to feel the power of that destructive force. Maybe this is one of the reasons for my enthusiasm with the Active Woman prizes: they are a celebration of life. A celebration of life in the feminine.

Although possibly unnecessary, I’ll explain, since I want to feel the happiness of explaining what this celebration of life consists of.

1 - Ana Paula fell from an eighth floor, rose and, since then, has voluntarily dedicated herself to help many others to rise with her.
Many, many thanks, Ana Paula.

2 - Barbara wants to give New Faces to those who lost social face through grievous situations such as prostitution, drug dependencies, prison, AIDS.
Many, many thanks, Barbara.

3 - Isabel provides a home and a shoulder to the young people who need a New Future.
Many, many thanks, Isabel

4 – Sister Mafalda gives herself totally to the 6 de Maio Quarter. And would like people to watch her smile when she receives good news, such as a cheque which I delivered to take her children on a sea-side holiday.
Many, many thanks, Sister Mafalda

5 - Margarida tries with her Family Area to tie up anew what threatens to become torn. Divorce has acquired such normalcy that it seems we have forgotten that it is a grievous problem, a drama.
Many, many thanks, Margarida

6 - Maria Guida has dedicated her whole life to bring back the capacity of walking to those who lost it, or never had the possibility of doing so normally.
Many, many thanks, Maria Guida

7 - Maria Irene dedicates her energy and her smile to one of the issues which society would rather prefer to place under the carpet, since it is that which most touches our weaknesses: mental illness.
Many, many thanks, Maria Irene

8 - Mariana gathered her childhood memories and with these built a project for the refurbishment of the house and to rehabilitate the life of consul Aristides de Sousa Mendes, who saved 30,000 Jews at a time when that was a grievous risk to his life and career.
Many, many thanks, Mariana

9 - Rosa cares for the health of the Moinho da Juventude (Mill of Youth). Its founder was awarded a prize here, in 2004.
Many, many thanks, Rosa

10 – Susana’s wish is to awaken Portugal and the World to the sins committed against our common home – Land. And how beautiful it is, our Blue Home!
Many, many thanks, Susana

I loved referring, one by one, to these women who give their days, their time, their strength, their love to so many varied projects. All of these projects have in common a great love of life.

Life with suffering, pain, cries of rage and despair. But lives with outstretched hands to help other lives, not giving up, not resigning.

Because all these women know that whoever falls will also rise and that the other face of sin is redemption.

And the secret is to love, as the poet said.

And because they love a lot they never give up. Please allow me once again to tell you how I enjoy being here with you, moved and proud, paying tribute through these ten we have here today, to those we had in the past, and to those we will have in the future, all of them women of my country.

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