Sister Domingas and Friends

About Us

The Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation was founded by a group of individuals that were inspired by the incredible work that Sister Domingas has accomplished and wanted to raise awareness about her work to ensure that funding remains available for these and other projects.

The Sister Domingas and Friends Foundations’ goal is to support charities doing hands-on community organizing, however initially we are focusing primarily on the programs that Sister Domingas has created through OCSI-Angola.

OCSI-Angola or St. Isabel’s Childrens Charity is the culmination of a lifetime of work by Sister Domingas. You can find more details about the the amazing work by following the links below.

Learn more

The main areas of focus

1. Supporting orphans both in the facility as well as in surrogate homes

2. Running a network of community schools for children who are too poor or disadvantaged to go to the government schools. Approximately 4,500 people are educated through this program (children during the day, adults in the evening)

3. Running a school for street children, market workers and beggars at Estalagem Market

4. Providing child care, food and education for children during the day while mothers work

5. Operating a micro-credit project for women who have no support from their families either because they were abandoned, or widowed


Get to Know More About Sister Domingas’ Inspirational Community Service Work

Dear Donor,

The Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation would like to thank you very much for your generosity.  We are a registered 501(c)3 organization which means that your donation is tax deductible.  Your contribution will have a direct impact on the lives of the children in Sister Domingas' care, providing for food, medical care and housing as well as education. Every child is treated with as much love and care as our budget allows, so every dollar is important. You will receive an email receipt for your donation directly from Paypal if you donate that way, or directly from us if you send a check. Please sign up for our Newsletter which will keep you up to date on our various fund-raising efforts.  Once again, we thank you very much for your benevolence.  As Sister Domingas always says, "It is all about the Children."

Please Donate via our Paypal Link, or make your check payable to:

The Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation
2237 Edinburg Avenue
Cardiff by the Sea, Ca.  92007




We are also desperate for volunteers that can assist Sister Domingas by helping with computer issues, translating, grant and proposal writing, etc.


We would like to thank our generous contributors for the donation of the much needed vehicle to transport the children to the hospital as needed and buy supplies for the Children's House. Click the link below to view more information about the vehicle.


For further information about where your money goes, please see our FAQ page or contact us at


The New Vehicle Arrived at the Children's House!

Due to your generous donations, we were able to acquire 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle to transport the children to and from hospital, to do shopping, etc.  Due to the location of the orphanage, and the difficult access during the rains, a 4-wheel drive vehicle was a must. We presently have 54 children housed full time at the Children’s House (Casa de Crianca), and transporting those who are ill to and from hospital was a major problem due to the distance and the poor condition of the road we must travel.

The vehicle will make possible:

  • Educational field trips, such as museums and parks (there are in the vicinity of the orphanage)
  • Collection of donations, including fresh meals from a restaurant in the city
  • Bring additional volunteers to work with the children, who may not have a vehicle or a driver to reach the orphanage

With your support, we were able to purchase a 13-seater Land Cruiser for the Children’s House as seen below.

Orphanage Car
Orphanage Car
Orphanage Car

We are extremelly grateful for your ongoing generosity.

Moving Sands

Sister Domingas and some of the girls at St. Isabel's Children's Charity (also known as OCSI) have been working on a project called Moving Sands. This project enables the handiwork of the girls at OCSI to be sold to benefit the organization.

Young women at OCSI are employing their skills making bags of soda can pop-tops, and weaving them into bags. These bags are available for purchase. For more information, please contact Sister Domingas at:

Girls work on bags made from soda tops in the Moving Sands project.

Girls work on bags made from soda tops in the Moving Sands project.
Bags from the Moving Sands project.

Bags from the Moving Sands project.

The Moving Sands project group at work making bags out of soda can pop-tops.

The Moving Sands project group at work making bags out of soda can pop-tops.


Our History ... Our Struggle ...

Angola is rebuilding its country after the end of a 27-year civil war in 2002. When Angola's war for independence from Portugal ended in 1975, a Civil War began.The war lasted 27 years, ending in 2002. An estmiated 500,000 people were killed. This war spawned a disastrous humanitarian crisis in Angola, internally displacing 4.28 million people, one-third of Angola's population. The United Nations estimated in 2003 that 80 percent of Angolans lacked access to basic medical care, 60 percent lacked access to water, and 30 percent of Angolan children would die before the age of 5, with an overall life expectancy of less than 40 years of age.

Three decades of Civil war in Angola left behind a legacy of several enduring social problems. A huge exodus from the countryside to the Angolan Capitol, Luanda, has generated extreme poverty in the metropolis. The health and education system was basically destroyed and now there are far more orphans and abandoned children than the government can provide for.

Low-income families have inhabited the area in Viana, where OCSI is based, since 1996. All these families came from the outlying provinces of Angola during the war and settled in the suburbs of Luanda for protection from military activity. Some have managed to obtain small, low paying jobs in the city while others sell their wares at the market.

Many parents leave their houses at 4 am and return after 8 pm.  Caring for the family is often left to the older sibling, even if he or she is still very young.  This means no school and much responsibility to still very young children. There is little in the way of extended family support because most families were broken up during the war.

contact Us

For additional information about the Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation please contact us.

Ana Carder, President
Tel: 760-415-6201 USA

Candy Sandlin, Secretary
Tel: 832-814-5560 USA

Kathy Ryan, Director
Tel: 281-381-0082 USA

Hilde Gjervik, Sponsorships

Mailing Address
Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation
2237 Edinburg Avenue
Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007

Frequently Asked Questions

What does Sister Domingas’ Foundation do?

Our stated mission is to channel much needed donations to worthwhile, hands-on charities, beginning with the Orphanage run by Sister Domingas Loureiro in the outskirts of Luanda, Angola. Her work was featured on American Idol as a part of the “Idol Gives Back” campaign during seasons 8 and 9. Former Idol Judge Kara DioGuardi and contestant Elliot Yamin have visited the orphanage in Angola in order to draw attention to Sister Domingas’ critically important work.

How did the foundation begin?

The Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation was formed by supporters and admirers of the work of Sister Domingas Loureiro. The intention of the founders is to raise funds for the children that Sister Domingas cares for. Her tireless work and her desperate need for funds inspired us to form the foundation to help the Sister help others. As Sister Domingas always says, ‘”It’s all about the Children.”

Why should I donate to Sister Domingas?

Your contribution will have a direct and positive affect on the lives of at-risk and orphaned children in Luanda. Sister Domingas has proven herself extremely worthy of your support due to her lifetime of commitment to helping children in the war-torn country of Angola.

What type of organization is the Sister Domingas Foundation?

The Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation is a registered USA 501(c)3 organization.  All donations to the foundation are tax deductible.  Please communicate with your tax professional for further information.

Do you accept non-monetary donations?

We have sent uniforms for the children and other such non-monetary donations. If you have an idea for a contribution please contact the Executive Director.

At this time there is urgent need to expand the orphanage to properly accommodate the children who currently live there and to take in more children in need.  We would gladly accept contributions of any amount. Please contact the Executive Director for further information.

What are acceptable methods of giving donations?

The best way to contribute is through our website at where you can safely and securely make your donation through Paypal. We also will gladly accept any check or money order made out to the Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation.

Where can I send check/cash donations?

Checks can be sent to the following address:

Contributions: Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation 2237 Edinburg Avenue Cardiff by the Sea, CA 92007

How can I volunteer with Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation in the US?

Please contact the Executive Director for information on how you can help.

How can I volunteer with Sister Domingas' foundation in Angola (OCSI)?

Obtaining a visa to enter Angola is not an easy task and it can be costly. There are Angolan consulates in NYC and Houston where you can find out more information about obtaining your visa. This process can be quite lengthy so make sure to start your visa application process with ample time.

We also recommend you have all of your vaccinations and malaria medicine. Angola requires you to produce your yellow fever card to enter and depart. Usually yellow fever vaccination adn malaria medicine are not covered by medical insurance. Make sure to have enough malaria medicine for the length of your stay.

Another good preparation idea is to learn some Portuguese. We have been teaching the children at the orphanage some English, but in reality the children and Sister Domingas only speak Portuguese.

For more information on how you can help, please contact the Executive Director at Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation.

How will my sponsorship contribution be spent?

A breakdown of the budget and expenses of the Orphanage is available on our website at the

Who can I contact if I have questions about my sponsorship and/or donations?

Please contact the President or the Executive Director of the foundation.

I'd like to donate to your foundation but I can only donate to religious organizations. How do I go about it?

We are in contact with US based religious charities who are willing to receive donations on behalf of Sister Domingas. Please contact the Executive Director or President for additional details.

Can I donate to a specific child in the Orphanage?

Sister Domingas treats all of the children equally based on the funds that are received. In this way, even on a short budget, each child gets the best level of care that can be afforded. We would be happy to offer you information about the specific children of the Orphanage at any time.

Can I donate to a specific program?

Yes, we are currently asking for your support for two specific programs. You are free to choose the specific destination of your contribution.

Does all the money donated go to Sister Domingas and the Orphanage?

The Sister Domingas Foundation is currently operating on an entirely volunteer basis. All money that is collected will go directly to Sister Domingas except for those fees and expenses which are absolutely necessary to run the foundation, such as legal fees, web hosting, etc. Future growth of the foundation may require the retention of one or more full time professionals at which time we would fully disclose their compensation and expenses. Our primary goal is to maximize the amount of money that is sent to the Orphanage in order to make the greatest impact on the lives of the children.

Does The Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation support other Charities?

The stated mission of the Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation is to help any worthwhile charity. However, in our infancy we are focusing entirely on the work of Sister Domingas due to her acute need for funds that has evolved out of the International Financial Crisis. We intend to expand this horizon once the Sister’s urgent needs can be met.

Will I get a receipt for my donation?

You will automatically receive a receipt upon your generous donation through Paypal. If you prefer to give directly to the foundation by other means, we will issue you a receipt upon receipt of your check or money order made out to the Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation and mailed to the address listed above.

How can I be certain that the Sister Domingas and Friends Foundation is a worthwhile organization?

Sister Domingas’ work has been recognized internationally and was highlighted on the television show American Idol. We created the foundation to ensure that her selfless work can continue. We are singularly dedicated to her mission of helping the children of Angola who have been orphaned, displaced or put at extreme risk by thirty years of almost continuous war. As Sister Domingas has shown us, there is nothing more important for the future of our world than the welfare of the children. Sister Domingas remains a beacon of hope for the children of Luanda and an inspiration to all of us.

How are the funds you receive used to help needy children?

The Orphanage is run by a professional staff that cares for their every need within the limits of their budget. Children receive the best care that available funds can provide. Luanda is one of the most expensive cities in the world which is why funds are so desperately needed to ensure the health and safety of these children.

Can I visit the Orphanage?

Everyone is welcome to visit the Orphanage and see the work that Sister Domingas is accomplishing. “American Idol” standout Elliot Yamin has visited three times already with plans to return soon.

As a sponsor, what do I receive throughout the year?

Please sign up for our newsletter. You will receive information and updates about our successes and our continuing needs.

Are my gifts tax-deductible?

All donations to the foundation are tax deductible.  Sister Domingas and Friends is a non-profit, tax-exempt, charitable foundation with 501 (c)(3) status. Please contact your accountant to understand all of the legal and tax implications regarding your contribution.