What is the Paper Smiles Campaign?

A Campanha Sorrisos de Papel é uma iniciativa de solidariedade desenvolvida pela Solsef anualmente, desde 2018, no tempo do Natal.

The Paper Smiles Campaign has 3 target groups: 1.-School students in Portugal who buy and write the postcards from an integrated perspective on creativity and the promotion of the values of inclusive citizenship; 2.-Patients from geriatric homes who receive the postcards with messages of comfort and fraternity from a perspective of promoting intergenerational communication; and 3.-Students from school centers (inserted in impoverished contexts across borders) for whom the profit from the sale of the postcards reverts.

In this sense, the Campaign has, on the one hand, a double aspect of solidarity: 1.- by purchasing a postcard with solidarity, you are supporting a project to promote education, across borders, in a community with low resources, because the profit from the sale of postcards is allocated annually to a solidarity initiative that invests in the education of impoverished children and young people and 2.- the recipients of the postcards are users (mainly elderly) of Social Solidarity Institutions (namely in Portugal) severely affected by isolation. The Campaign has, on the other hand, a pedagogical aspect of awareness for the students of the Schools in Portugal (responsible for writing the postcards and delivering them) in the scope of education in values that promote solidarity and creativity.

Therefore, the Paper Smiles Campaign has the following objectives:

  • Promote solidarity with those further away, supporting an educational project aimed at young people and children across borders;
  • Break the chain of isolation in which nursing home users find themselves in the face of the current pandemic situation;
  • Promote the intergenerational communication of the elderly with the new generations, breaking the existing generational gap;
  • Rediscover this traditional and special form of the Christmas season by sending a written postcard that fosters creativity and the positive expression of emotions and feelings in the students.

The Paper Smiles Campaign would not be possible without the contribution of hundreds of volunteers who give their time and enthusiasm to the service of solidarity in the world.

How does it work?

In this action, any person or individual within a group (school, company, Sunday school group, etc.), who buys one of the postcards available in our solidarity store, writes a message to a user of a Social Solidarity Institution, previously selected, and that postcard is then delivered to the recipient, promoting solidarity bonds.

Usually, the groups that acquire the postcards previously identify the institutions that receive the postcards. However, if you wish to acquire the postcards and do not have an institution to receive them from, we can also facilitate contact with institutions that wish to receive the postcards.

In the 2022 Campaign, the project supported with the purchase of postcards is Qualificação Pedagógica (an educational project aimed at supporting a high school in Empada, Guinea-Bissau, by strengthening school infrastructure, equipping classrooms, and training teachers).


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