The lucky ones
© UNICEF Mozambique/2012/Mark Lehn
Of all the orphans and vulnerable children in their district, less than half receive any sort of help at all. Angelina and her family are the lucky ones. In some ways, at least.
About nine months ago, 34-year
old Angelina became a mother of five,
overnight. When her father died, he left
five orphans behind, with only his adult
daughter Angelina to care for them. At the
time, she didn't have a job, or any formal
source of income. The house she and her
siblings were living in was structurally
unsound. Needless to say, Angelina had
her work cut out for her. But luckily, things
changed for them, thanks to a government
social protection programme designed to
promote the social and economic inclusion
of the vulnerable.
- Before, I used to do odd jobs just to be
able to afford a tin of maize. Now, I am
employed, and things are better, says
The programme targets people like her, who
find themselves in situations of extreme
poverty but who are able to work, and refers
them to income generating activities such
as public works programmes.
Angelina works in a brick factory four
hours every Monday through Thursday,
and receives a monthly 50kg bag of rice as
- I leave at 6am, and am back at 10am in
time to prepare breakfast, she says.
Angelina was also offered improvements to
the house, clothing, utensils and mosquito
nets, as well as birth certificates, thanks
to another social programme. All this has
been of invaluable help to Angelina and the children, who are between the ages of 4
and 17. But it's not easy raising such a large
brood on your own.
- Maria gives me lots of problems, she does
not want to go to school, says Angelina,
adding that the 7-year old is currently
staying with her uncle but does not want
to stay there. Rosinha is 10 and appears
well-cared for. She has a smile on her face
and a stuffed dog in her arms, which she
calls Bóbi. There still are a 14-year old
girl and a 17-year old boy in the house,
but the youngest one, a 4-year old girl,
was placed at the Resource Centre for
Inclusive Education in the city. Angelina
says the girl is happy there, but this goes
against government family policy of always
preferring family rather than institutional
Much still needs to be done for Angelina
and the children for them to live a life in
dignity and safety, but of all the orphans
and vulnerable children in their district,
less than half receive any sort of help at all.
Angelina and her family are the lucky ones.
In some ways, at least.