How to Help People in AngolaAngola is a large, underdeveloped country in Africa. Despite the country’s wealth from oil and diamond exports, nearly half of the population lives on less than a dollar a day. Unemployment, poverty, and birth rates are high, but the literacy rate and life expectancy are low.

Angola only has one doctor per 10,000 people. Millions lack access to sanitary water and restrooms, and thousands die of preventable diseases such as malaria and bacterial diarrhea.

Without stable incomes, quality educations and proper health care, many Angolans suffer. But, they do not have to suffer forever. The following is a list of how to help people in Angola.


1. Donate to a worthy nonprofit.

Donating to an organization working in Angola is a good solution when you don’t know how to help people in Angola. Dozens of international nonprofits and charitable agencies are currently working in Angola to improve living conditions of people living in extreme poverty. Organizations are always looking for donor support to help fund their projects and change lives. UNICEF, Save the Children, the Fistula Foundation and World Vision are a few.

  • UNICEF has been in Angola since 1976. It focuses on boosting primary health care; providing primary education; and creating a social and legal environment of child protection.
  • Save the Children is another nonprofit dedicated to helping children.   Save the Children has built four free schools and two health centers. It has also implemented a polio eradication project and community development forums.
  • The Fistula Foundation opened a medical center in Angola that provides free fistula surgeries and other maternal health services to women. A fistula is a medical condition that obstructs labor. It is more common in poor areas where women in labor do not have access to a midwife or doctor, like in many parts of Angola.
  • World Vision has given thousands of tons of food, seeds and tools to hungry farm families in Angola. It also offers agricultural training, microfinance opportunities and access to clean water. To top it off, World Vision improves rural Angolans’ health through nutrition education, HIV/AIDS awareness and health care services.


2. Voice support for U.S. Agency for International Development.

 USAID is the United States’ main governmental agency for improving lives in developing nations. It has several initiatives in Angola, including: increasing literacy and entrepreneurship; decreasing the spread of HIV/AIDS; building disaster response capabilities; and supporting democracy.

It takes less than 60 seconds to call your Congressional representatives and urge them to support USAID and policies strengthening the United States’ commitment to developing nations like Angola. A staff member for the representative or senator will take note of each call, email and letter, then make sure the Congressional leader knows which issues are on the minds of constituents.


3. Educate and mobilize others.

The more people who know and care about the problems facing Angolans, the greater the chance political leaders will take heed.

The United States spends less than 1 percent of its budget on foreign aid; many people incorrectly believe it spends a lot more. Dispel the myths and teach others why investing in foreign aid is good for everyone involved. Helping Angola grow its economy will pay off for the United States because it increases Angolans’ demand for American goods and services, which creates jobs at home.

The high level of poverty and suffering in Angola may seem difficult to change, but individuals and organizations are making strides every day to transform lives. There are three simple answers for how to help people in Angola: support a worthy organization in the country; contact your representatives about the importance of foreign aid; and educate and mobilize others to join the effort to improve the standard of living for millions of Angolans.

Kristen Reesor

Photo: Flickr