The seventh president of the rotary club Fátima Guerreiro, joined the club three years ago and who told me “I was interested in helping people and for me it was good that it was French speaking as those are my roots”. The following two presidents have already been elected with next year’s president being Thierry Chatalain who has been part of the club for four years but has been a rotary member since 1999 whilst living in France as well as the following president Nicole Lanier who has been a member of the club for six years.

The international rotary clubs’ values include promoting peace, protecting the environment and supporting education. The international rotary club has an incredible 1.4 million members in over 46,000 clubs around the world and 13 clubs in the Algarve alone, however what makes the rotary club of Lagoa unique is that they are the youngest rotary club in the Algarve and the only French speaking club in the Algarve with only two francophone clubs in Portugal, the other club being based in Lisbon.

The Lagoa rotary regularly organizss successful charity events focused on local needs, in line with the international objectives of The Rotary Foundation. They meet twice a month and they have 12 active members who elect a new president every year and whose role is to set out the club’s initiatives for the year in advance. Fátima’s focus this year is on education with the key message being “serve to improve lives”, with this focus in mind they started the year strongly by organising a collection at multiple supermarkets for school stationery and books for local families in need. Currently, they are fundraising for a local physio-therapist who gives physio sessions to disabled children so she can continue her work. They have also donated Christmas baskets to families in need in which they were greatly supported by generous donators and they plan to give Easter baskets next month.

Supporting Ukraine

The group also told me that they have mobilised to support Ukraine at this devastating time and that they are working with the Rotary of Lisbon who is in contact with Ambassador Inna Ohnivets and the Governor of the Rotary of Ukraine, Vladimir Bodarenko in order to send medication, food and clothing to refugees this month.

Additionally, on the 30th of April at 7:30pm, they will have a solidarity concert taking place at Portimão arena which is organised by all the rotary clubs in the Algarve in order to raise enough money to acquire a laparoscopy tower for the Portimão hospital as currently only the hospital in Faro has this equipment. The cost of this fundraising event is €30 « in which you can reserve tickets by visiting or emailing

Fátima confirmed that they welcome French speakers of all nationalities based in the Algarve to join their positive movement. They are a friendly and well-run group whereby each member is fully involved in the organising of events and they are looking for like-minded individuals who are committed to taking action and working for the good of the community.

For more information, please see or @RCILofficiel on Facebook. If you would like to become a member, please contact them via email at Finally, if you feel that the clubs’ initiatives align with your views you can support them by directly donating through their website.