The Bridge UK-Angola

Street Children

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Street Children Find Refuge In Sewers

In the fading evening light, the wide boulevards of Luanda are virtually silent but for a ragged army of filthy street children running barefoot as they head home to the sewers.  Below the streets, in complex sewers laid by the Portuguese settlers a century ago, a classic Dickens nightmare is played out as the children and the rats compete for scraps of food.

 

Angola's Children Bearing The Greatest Cost Of War

 

Separated from their families and unable to rely on kinship networks, they tend to organize into smaller groups with an older child protecting younger children, socially isolated in ghettoized buildings. Many are orphaned or abandoned; some have left starving families or abusive environments. For children, survival requires washing cars, carrying water, scavenging in dustbins or prostituting themselves.

 

 

 

We fund a safe house for homeless children in a city in Angola.

We provide refuge, medical care, food, comfort and education.

Links are made to reunite the children with their families or alternatively to find good foster homes. A successful outcome for each child depends on long term support and counselling to families and foster carers.

Our teams work daily on the streets together with the local Department of Child Protection in an outreach programme. It identifies homeless children very early in their life on the street before they succumb to the inevitable risks of substance abuse and criminality.

We offer food, friendship and support to each street child before they are admitted to our refuge.

We also provide "drop-in" day care facilities for children who do not wish to be admitted so that they still have access to medical care, showers, food and support services.

 

Photo: A young man learns to cook at displaced children center.

 

The project also delivers

A back-to-school programme via special literacy classes

An annual summer camp in the country or by the sea

Weekly arts and music therapy

Specialist drama and conflict resolution therapy sessions by a resident psychologist and visiting specialists

Sports activities via a local high school sports initiative

Long-term follow-up where children have been reunited with their families

Drop-in support care to adolescents who have left our safe house and become independent

An excellent record in campaigning with the state and other NGO’s for good services and reintegration into school and the community for former street children

Our project offers solutions that are sensitive to each child's needs and wishes - whether this be reintegration with their family, fostering, adoption or long term care with us.

 

Photo: Grandparents care for their grandson.

 

 

If you would like to make a quick secure donation to help those in need in Angola please click here

THE BRIDGE UK-ANGOLA * CUMBERLAND HOUSE * ACTON * UK *