Tipo de Publicação: Artigo em Revista
Catela, J. (2019). ‘Lending a hand’: the well-intentioned work of a non-profit organisation on the outskirts of neoliberal Lisbon. International Journal of Human Rights in Health Care.
This paper focuses on the mental health of two immigrants supported by a non-profit organisation on the outskirts of Lisbon, Dona Lígia and Albino1. The ethnography sets out the discourse of these users who are also residents of Terraços da Ponte, a social housing neighbourhood, and the workers who try to help them in the context of the non-profit organisation’s endeavours. Using semi-directive interviews, life stories and data collected during eleven months of intensive ethnographic fieldwork, the intersections between the non-profit’s users and its employees are presented and critically discussed in this article. The space and conditions which these individuals inhabit, as well as the history of the old Quinta do Mocho (the slum where they used to live before being rehoused in the new neighbourhood), are central in the analysis of how local subjectivities are formed and negotiated. The paper shows that interventions merely focused on trying to ‘lend a hand’ may do more harm than good to the communities, because the efforts employed by these non-profits disregard the causes producing illness and suffering in the first place.