SOS Children’s Villages supports individual children, young people and families so that they can thrive (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Angola).

Benguela, which is the capital of Benguela Province, is located on the Atlantic Coast some 450 km south of the capital, Luanda. During the civil war, Benguela received large numbers of refugees because it was relatively stable. There are now 2.3 million people living in the province and about 562,000 in the city of Benguela itself. It remains a relatively stable region, and this attracts people to move here. This then poses challenges, especially regarding housing, education and health.

Since 2005, SOS Children’s Villages has been upporting children, young people and families and advocating for their rights in Benguela.

Of the population of Benguela live in poverty

Children’s lives marked by poverty

Benguela is a big city with around 562,000 people living there. More than one in three people lives in poverty. Living in poverty brings different hardships depending on whether a family lives in the city or in rural areas. In rural areas, families mostly live off the land, with children often helping out. However, if the crops are affected by drought or flooding, the family will struggle. In urban areas, parents find it hard to find stable work, and often end up working in the informal sector where the pay is low and work is often irregular.

Of young people are unemployed in Angola

Young people need more support

Young people throughout Angola struggle to become independent. Across the country, around 29% of young people do not have a job. Although the education of young people is improving, there are still many who cannot read and write. The local government labour office does provide training in areas such as tourism, civil engineering, mechanics or computing. However not all of them can be get a job at the end of their training. They need additional support so that they can make a living.

Your support makes a difference for children in Benguela

SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities to offer a wide range of support that is adapted to the local context. We always work in the best interest of the children, young people and families.
Can stay together
Adults and children
Are supported in the community
Children and young people
Learn at our kindergartens and schools
Children and young people
Grow up in our care
Children in our care spend a lot of time together and form bonds that often last a lifetime (photo: SOS Children’s Villages Angola).

How your support helps in Benguela

Strengthening families and communities
When parents face hardships, they can sometimes struggle to give children the care they need. SOS Children’s Villages works with local partners and communities. Each family needs different support so that they can stay together. This support can include workshops on parenting and children’s rights. We also run trainings so that parents can get the skills they need to get a job or start businesses. Likewise, we ensure that children can get medical help and go to school.
Providing quality education
SOS Children’s Villages ensures that children and young people have access to high-quality education. We help them learn and develop in a safe and supportive environment. We train teachers on children’s rights and child-centered learning, so that each child can get the most out of their education. Young children spend time playing and learning at kindergarten. This prepares them for primary school.
Caring for children who cannot live with their families
Some children cannot stay with their families, even with additional support. When this happens, they can find a new home in SOS Children’s Villages. Some children and young people in our care live together in small group homes. A small team of professional carers, who work in shifts, provide stable care by forming close bonds. Wherever possible, we work closely with the children’s family of origin. If children can return to live with their families, we help them adapt to this change.
Supporting young people to become independent
To help young people become confident and independent, our local team works closely with each young person to develop a plan for their future. We support young people and also help them prepare for the labour market and increase their employment prospects. For example, young people can attend workshops and trainings run by SOS Children’s Villages. They also improve their skills through taking part in different projects with local mentors and businesses.