After two years of support from SOS Children’s Villages, Gabriela (42) and her five children are standing strong on their own feet.
Gabriela and her children joined the family strengthening programme in Lubango in June 2017. Gabriela’s husband abandoned her and their children a couple of years before they found support from the SOS team.
- They lived in a small ramshackle house provided by a relative. Gabrielas only income came from providing Portuguese and Math after-school lessons to children and youth from the nearby primary school. Unfortunately, she did not receive regular payments, Albertina Catoquessa, SOS family strengthening coordinator in Lubango explaines.
Gabriela earned no more than 200-300 kwanza, less than 1 euro a day. As a consequence, one of her daughters failed her grade – Gabriela could not afford to buy her the necessary school materials. Her younger children also struggled. Not having enough to eat in a day, they couldn’t keep up with their school work; they did not have proper clothes and they needed health care.
Individual development plan
– Together with Gabriela we created a development plan for the family, with goals and measures. One of the most important things was to secure a safe and good home. We included school supplies and uniforms, clothing and access to health services, and a small loan for Gabrielas business whilst advocating for the need to find a job beyond the after-school classes, Albertina says.
Gabriela and her children made every effort to meet their development goals and within two years she was able to rent a small house. She has a job, providing a reliable income for enough food for her family. In addition, she saved money which enabled her to acquire a piece of land on which they are building their own home.
– Gabrielas family is one of those families that encourage us to do our work, says Albertina. – The family was willing to make the contribution towards their self-reliance. They attended regular meetings and made progress on their agreed plans.
– My two eldest daughters were able to finish vocational training courses. The children have access to a medical centre and I keep-up with follow-up appointments. Our plans and hope for our future is good. These services can now be channeled to other families who are more vulnerable than mine, because I am able to keep on alone, Gabriela says.