“On seventh October from 1928, my father, Dr. Manuel Ataíde da Veiga Pavão da Silva Leal, the institution president, inaugurated the activities of the Colégio Infante de Sagres, according to the perception of a new pedagogy, along with the young character formation.
It was his desire to form the young people of tomorrow, as respectable, correct, being able of putting into action and with a humanist spirit, forming the future generation. For this purpose, it was created a school adjacent to the Colégio Infante de Sagres to recover the children from Palma.
Many of those young people from that time, ancients today, testify how much they appreciate the importance of their education in acquiring the jobs they have.
25 years ago inspired by the spirit of my father, I decided to create Associação Infante de Sagres to support and promote disadvantaged children and young people from Palma and Fonsecas.
The goals of the Associação understood by the Lisbon city mayor of that time, Eng. Nuno Abecassis, led him to give us an old building in Sete Rios that was recovered for the Associação activities.
Unfortunately in an August evening a fire took place and destroyed these facilities. We faced many difficulties to find a new place for the school activities in order that Associação wouldn’t end up there.
Our effort was recognized by the priest of S.Tomás de Aquino, the Reverend Father João Sevivas, who conceded the basement of the day care center of S.Tomás de Aquino, which belonged to that parish.
There it was established the Associação ATL (Free Time Activities), where around eighty children spend their free time before and after school.
It hasn’t been an easy task after these twenty-five years to overcome external and also internal difficulties fulfilling the established organization.
During this period we were always appreciated and helped by the Stª Casa da Misericórdia from Lisbon, represented by Dr.ª Maria do Carmo Albergaria and Dr.ª Ermelinda Tavares that helped us in the resolution of many problems we faced.
Thanks to the enthusiasm and interest of my granddaughter Maria Ana Teixeira Bastos, followed by my daughter Maria João Lobato it was possible to maintain and develop all the programmed action of Associação Infante de Sagres. Associação has become a known and respected IPSS by the value of its benefaction.
In the beginning of the year of 2003, we were invited by the St.ª Casa da Misericórdia and by the City Council of Lisbon to reorganize and operate in the Nursery and in the Kindergarten of Palma de Cima, located in an old school, which property had been donated by my father to the Ministry of Education.
By the strong will of the City Council of Lisbon and with the support of the President of S. Domingos de Benfica parish council, Dr.Sérgio Lipari Pinto, all the problems that had to do with the Municipality were solved in an open and objective way.
The ombudswoman from Santa Casa da Misericórdia, Dr.ª Maria José Nogueira was from the beginning the soul of the project as she laid her trust and consideration in us. It was with a great contentment that all from Associação felt fulfilled with such mission.
Thus, on 7th October 2003, it started the Nursery and Kindergarten activities towards a population that always sought us in the pursuance of an action that covers nursery, kindergarten and Cycle 1, always with a commitment and benefaction spirit towards the children’s education. They are the ones that make us experience an important fulfilment and satisfaction with regard to the Associação objectives.”
Maria Teresa Palma Leal Lobato was the President of the Board at Associação Infante de Sagres since its foundation until February 2013. She left an indelible mark of the Mission, the Vision and the Values which guide the development and growth of AIS.