As night falls many of these children head for the old
crumbling sewers built a century ago by the Portuguese that form
a complex maze under Luanda, where the kids compete with rats
for scraps of food.
As daybreak dawns its back onto the streets
and a life of hawking merchandise, washing cars or simply
begging or stealing to survive.
Without access to education or medical care,
many of these children turn to drugs, sniffing petrol or other
solvents, putting themselves at even further risk of abuse
including sexual exploitation.
As in many countries, these street children
in Angola have few opportunities to escape this cycle of
deprivation. Nearly 70% of births are not registered in Angola
effectively meaning these children do not exist in the eyes of
the authorities so when many 'disappear' no-one notices save for
the others in the gangs they belong to nor is education an
option as its not accessible.
There are a number of agencies attempting to provide support
for these children, but their main potential support, their
families, are often not there having been killed, displaced, or
are too poor to take back yet another mouth to feed in a country
where around 68% live on less that $2.00 a day.
in Luanda face the sternest difficulties where many existing
families live in slum housing with little to discard to feed the
hungry mouths of street children who live on the streets of one
of the most expensive and dangerous cities on earth.
The short video above shows how agencies such as Unicef are attempting to identify ways to help these young
Angolan children by providing them with life skills to prepare
them for an adult life away from the streets.