In Angola, opportunities of formal long-term employment for women are often scarce, leaving many families struggling to survive. HALO Angola is committed to creating accessible employment opportunities for women, addressing the unique barriers that make it difficult for women to join or remain in employment.
Today, 45 per cent of HALO’s staff in Angola are women, rising to 56 per cent for our operational staff. The number being recruited and trained continues to grow to meet our aim of achieving gender parity in a previously male-dominated sector
Thanks to the generous support of a long-term family foundation HALO is able to create more accessible employment opportunities for women, enabling them to take charge of their economic circumstances and serve as leaders in conflict-affected communities.
Childcare commitments and costs have been reported as creating a barrier to female employees remaining in work, therefore through this initiative HALO is supporting female staff by:
Subsidising childcare costs through a monthly stipend and the provision of a ‘baby box’ for expectant mothers and those with very young children (male and female staff) —ensuring they have the vital necessities to support their infants.
Florinda Baptista, Administrative Assistant, HALO Angola
Florinda has been working for HALO for five years. She started as a deminer, progressing quickly to a deminer medic, spent time with the survey and community teams, and also has experience working with the mechanical clearance teams—very much an all-rounder! Florinda recently started working as an administrative assistant as part of the project to further support employment opportunities for women on the programmme. She has two children, including an eight month-old daughter called Anabela, and so is a recipient of the monthly childcare stipend.
"For me it has been very good to receive this subsidy, which supports children under five years of age. With my first child I didn't have this privilege and everything depended simply on my salary, and now with my second daughter I have this subsidy which has helped me to minimise costs and to purchase goods for my child since the value comes specifically to her. She is still small, and as well as items such nappies and wipes, the money has been used to pay for a caregiver. I see a huge difference compared with my first child; I didn't have this money before, and so now this has helped to make a small savings on my salary, or is used to make other purchases for the house, especially food. Food has recently been becoming more expensive. As the baby is only eight months old she prefers to be looked after by someone in her home, and when she is two years old I intend to use this grant in part to pay for the child to spend the day in a nursery. We would like to thank the donor for this grant—it has been a real relief for us.”
Elisa Sabino, deminer, HALO Angola
Elisa Sabino has been working at HALO for over a year and her son, Rosario, is three years old. She has been receiving the childcare stipend and has used it to buy extra food and pay for somebody to take care of her son:
“For me, this subsidy has come at a good time, because things are increasingly expensive and times are difficult here in Benguela. From the basics such as food and medicine, as well as access to other services. HALO has helped support mothers with children; having small children and being away from them for most of the month is already very hard. When you don't start out with the minimum conditions you need, it makes attaining them even more difficult. Since we started to receive this monthly subsidy, it has already helped to minimise a lot of costs. I can pay a caregiver during the day, buy some snacks, fruit, juices, cereals, milk, and I can still save a percentage for unforeseen circumstances such as illness. I am much more relieved and happy for this initiative. May God bless our donors for this wonderful gesture—when my son starts to understand things, for sure he will know that when he was younger he had a monthly subsidy to help with his needs.”
As of December 2022, 245 women are receiving the stipend.