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.
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.
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.