Angola: African Beauty and Tragedy

sponsor a child in Angola

The Republic of Angola is on the south-western coast of Africa, bordered to the south by Namibia, to the east by Zambia, and to the north by the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). With its breathtaking scenery and white-washed Atlantic beaches, it is one of Africa's most beautiful countries and with its vast reserves of diamonds, potentially one of the wealthiest. But most of its 17 million people live in grinding poverty as a result of a 27-year civil war that finally ended in 2002.

Angola, as well as recovering from the affects of a prolonged civil war, is having to come to terms with a rising rate of HIV / AIDS. Nearly 4% of the adult population is affected and more than 160,000 children have been orphaned as a result of HIV / AIDS (source UNICEF). Malaria is also a huge problem.

Aids in Angola

sponsor a child in Angola

SOS Children is working in Benguela and Lubango, two towns in south-western Angola, and is reaching out to AIDS orphans and other vulnerable children and their families in the local communities. Over 630 people in 140 families receive the support they need to strengthen their economic and emotional capability to care for their children and thus prevent child abandonment. The ultimate aim of these Family Strengthening Programmes is to ensure that the children have a stable family for life. We fund the children’s educational, food and medical costs until the family is economically independent enough to pay these themselves.

We work with the local health departments and other Non Government Organizations on AIDS prevention through education and voluntary testing. We directly confront the HIV / AIDS pandemic through our work with the government health department and our own Medical Centres.

In Benguela, the focus of the Family Strengthening Programme is on skills training for caregivers: ensuring they have the skills needed to start their own businesses and grow their own food so they can provide for their children themselves. An agricultural programme has been started, taking advantage of the fertile land and water in the area. A variety of vegetables and different crops have been planted, tomatoes and cabbages being the most popular. One fishing cooperative has also started in Kawango community by nine breadwinners on the Family Strengthening Programme. The initiative has been considered has a success. SOS Children facilitated the process for the acquisition of a small fishing boat. Another impact of the cooperative in the Family Strengthening Programme is the support it is providing in sustaining the retailing informal businesses of other fish-selling families in the programme. In other words, the cooperative’s customers are the Family Strengthening Programme women who buy the fish and resell it to the public in the markets.

Essential medicines for the Family Strengthening Programme families in Benguela are provided free of charge by the SOS Medical Centre here.

If you interested in helping the situation in Angola you might like to consider how to sponsor a child in Angola.