Angola is situated in south-central Africa, on the Atlantic coast, and is home to 31 million people. A civil war that lasted 27 years ended in 2002. This war destroyed the infrastructure, killed over 1.5 million people and 4 million were displaced.
In more recent years the country has had to deal with droughts, flooding and outbreaks of disease. There has been some improvement in some areas, but there are still many children, young people and families who need support so that they can look forward to a brighter future.
SOS Children’s Villages has been supporting children and young people without parental care, or at risk of losing it, in Angola since 1994.
There have been improvements in schooling and education in Angola – the quality of the teaching is improving and more children are going to school. However, although 76% of children start primary school, only 30% stay on into upper secondary school. As a result, 33% of young people are illiterate. Girls are more likely to drop out of school than boys. There are numerous reasons for this, but early marriage linked to hardship is amongst the reasons why girls drop out: 30% of women aged 20-24 were married, or in a union, before the age of 18.
Following the end of the civil war in 2002, the lives of some families in Angola improved. However, 48% continue to live in poverty, while 3 out of 4 children under 18 are poor. This often means they do not have enough food to eat, or cannot go to the doctor, and sometimes they have to stop going to school because the family cannot afford it. 19% of children are working in order to support themselves and their families. This is true in both rural and urban areas.
The health of the children in Angola is threatened by the repeated humanitarian crisis. The lack of widespread medical help, means that children suffer from preventable an easily treatable diseases such as malaria. The mortality rate for young children in Angola is among the highest in the world: out of 1,000 children born in Angola, 75 die before they reach the age of five. The drought in 2016 affected 1.4 million people in Angola. As food prices rose, many families were not able to feed their children, especially in the rural areas that were worst affected.