Contents: angola – bind a wound and build a nation – Emergency Relief to Angola (ERA) • service to Africa at the United Nations • broader outreach • look to the future…and not to the past • The brochure discusses the revolt by Angolans in March 1961 against Portugal’s centuries-long colonial exploitation. Portugal’s reprisal was swift and savage: defenseless villages were bombed, rural mission stations we shut down, and thousands were left with no medical help. In January 1962, the American Committee on Africa (ACOA) sent its executive director and a board member inside the war zone, carrying easily-administered medicines. They found that some of the relocated "hidden" villages had set up rudimentary dispensaries, but they urgently needed drugs. The trip established that it was possible to get some medical help into the war zone and also that the 200,000 Angolans who fled to the neighboring Congo needed a medical program. By January 1963, Dr. Ian Gilchrist was in the Congo with the ERA station wagon. Gilchrist is currently based at the Angolan clinic in Leopoldville, where he sees an average of 80 patients daily. He also travels to refugee settlements along the Angola border. Angolans going into the war zone are able to carry medical packages across the border for use by those who remain inside. The brochure looks back on a decade of ACOA’s work. ACOA was accredited as a non-governmental organization at the UN in 1956; it stressed the need for assistance to African petitioners long before the emergence of a large African bloc in the UN. President Nyerere of Tanganyika and the late President Olympio of Togo were among the early petitioners in close touch with ACOA. ACOA continues to provide Africans with temporary use of the office, preparation of written documentation, and sometimes for subsistence in New York. ACOA's help is called for most by petitioners from apartheid and colonial areas in Southern Africa. ACOA’s main publication is the monthly magazine, Africa Today, which contains editorials, book reviews, and news briefs. ACOA pamphlets have dealt with Algeria, Kenya, the Central African Federation, Mozambique, Angola, South West Africa, and, most recently, "South African Crisis and U.S. Policy." The brochure says through press conferences, speaking tours, and appearances on radio and television, ACOA has introduced African leaders, often for the first time, to the American public, including Oliver Tambo of South Africa, Holden Roberto of Angola, Kenneth Kaunda of Northern Rhodesia, H. Kamuzu Banda of Nyasaland, and Tom Mboya of Kenya. The brochure says in mid-April, Africa Freedom Day is annually marked by a public meeting or celebration. In late 1962, picketing in San Francisco and New York focused attention on America's support of apartheid through South African trade and investment. Africa is now three-quarters free; Members and supports of ACOA must rededicate themselves to the struggles in Southern Africa against colonial exploitation. The brochure also discusses the Sharpeville Massacre, John Marcum, and racism.
This item was digitized for Aluka, which made it available to the African Activist Archive.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to the American Committee on Africa).
Collection: Africa Action Archive