Education and Training for Orphan or Needy Girls in Mozambique
Project location: MOZAMBIQUE
Project start date: June 2012 - Project end date: December 2014
Project number: 2012-052
Beneficiary: O Viveiro
O Viveiro ONLUS, granting a request by the Province and Diocese of Tete - Mozambique, according to the United Nation Convention on the Rights of the Child and to the National objectives indicated by PNAC - Mozambique (Plano Nacional de Acção para a Criança), conceived a project, originally named "Educate a girl child to educate a people". Through the creation of "O Viveiro" (= "the vivarium") temporary housing and formation Centre in Chitima (Tete Province). The project aims to promote human, moral, cultural, social and ethical knowledge of Mozambique little orphans girl child (COV's - Crianças Órfãs e Vulneráveis) and girls in need, age from 9 to 18 years (from 6° edu. class EP2 to 12° edu. class ESG2), and to instruct family assistants and educators.
Examination of data contained in the series "Perfis Distritais" edited by the Ministério de Administração Estatal, coordinated by the Direcção Nacional da Administração Local, allows to discern some of the most serious matters concerning young people educational-formative sector.
In Tete Province and in its Districts the following aspects are particularly noteworthy if compared to the rest of the Country:
- Relevant number of orphans. Many children lost one parent or both due to HIV/AIDS or other endemic illness, natural disaster or unexpected events.
- High rate of analphabetism, notably in women. In Cahora Bassa District the female rate of analphabetism is 74% (53% male); 67% of little girls, starting from the 6 years old, never attended school and only 10% completed primary education.
- Late school enrolment, mainly in rural areas. The highest school enrolment rate is registered in the 10-14 years age bracket: almost 48% of girls attend school during this period.
- Poor economic conditions, not allowing children attend school. If compared to other family members, girls remain the most disadvantaged. They are forced to teenage marriage, to work in the fields or obliged to morally unacceptable activities.
- Poor spreading of an adequate local school network. Many girls are forced to leave school after finishing the 5 class, due to the lack of primary second level school (EP2).
- Bad knowledge of Portuguese language (the official teaching language). Mostly in female population and during primary schooling a bad knowledge of Portuguese causes severe learning deficiencies, a high rate of school year repetitions and non-attendance. - The lack of hygiene/health care preparation, nutrition and household management. This is due to the lack of personnel with an adequate preparation (educators and family assistants) and to the absence of institutions which could support and integrate the scholar system.
- Poor knowledge of fundamental values (humanitarism, morality, civilism and ethics). Caused by the lack of educators and due to the weakness of specific programs/initiatives.
The main purposes of the initiative which will be attained through the completion of the Educational project can be summed up as follows:
- Encouraging female development
By recognizing women as the crucial core of the pre-industrial society, particularly when dealing with poverty, and considering the importance of maternity and family in creating a community capable of growing with mutual respect between men and women, the project aims to promote education and female growth on the basis of a strategy shared with other organizations facing similar situations.
- Enhancement of girls education
The project places side by side basic schooling (2° level primary school - 6° class EP2 - up to the end of the 2° level of secondary school - 12° class ESG 2) with a complementary teaching concerning food knowledge and techniques, household management, hygiene and health care, accountancy, handicraft activities, etc... in order to prepare them for the job. The purpose is to provide little girls living in the Centre with civic education.
- Empowering girls' ethical/moral growth
In order to foster and strengthen the personal growth and education to ethical and moral principles, the project involves the assistance of a priest or a religious.
- Improving quality of life
The project will result in a better quality of life for girls and local community, thanks to their human, professional and moral growth. They will positively influence existing families and those to come. Through education, girls will be able to assume a more active role in adopting measures against HIV/AIDS, malaria and other contagious diseases.
- Teaching to teach
The project will also tend to teach grown up girls on how to instruct the younger. This will generate a balanced and autonomous growth of education in Mozambique, particularly in the field of care and social assistance.
- Strengthening women's social role
Attending the project's activities, girls will be more conscious of their rights and capabilities, in view of their return to the home where they belong, contributing to the development of the local community. Girls will promote and spread - according to their District's authorities - values and experiences also with the goal of challenging child prostitution and other abuses.
- Involving and promoting local co-operation
Each phase of the project (building, management, education) is deep-rooted in local context and the whole project, from its start, implies involvement and promotion of local energy with the aim of increasing local capabilities. By encouraging self-sufficiency it will be possible to reach, in a short time, the goal of a complete and autonomous management of local initiatives (Local Association O Viveiro Tete and resident community).
- Promoting the development of the local community
Education will produce a general community improvement, encouraging a professional and moral growth, respectful of society and of existing cultural and family ties. Students and people from the local community will be free to came to the Centre's facilities.
- Contributing to formation initiatives
The project aims to encourage the activities performed by the religious and governmental structures in the field of education and social promotion of poor women, starting from young age.
- Providing a pilot model
Through building - education - management of the first "O Viveiro" Centre the project aims to provide a pilot model which can be replicated in whole or in part in other territorial context.
The living facility in Chitima and the educational project proposed will be linked to schooling - educational program of the traditional and National school institutes where young girls from "O Viveiro" Centre will go on following their studies as provided for by SNE - Sistema Nacional de Educação and by Subsistema de Educação General.
The aim of the project is to support curricular study of girl child living in the Centre (from the end of the 5° class EP 1 - up to the 12° class ESG 2) with extracurricular courses and laboratories, to enhance knowledge and techniques related to practical aspects of life: food, family management, hygiene, health care, housekeeping, accountings, etc.
During their stay in the Centre, girls will be followed in their personal growth and in scholar education up to the end of the secondary level (ESG 2 - 12° class) by educators of various level, coordinated by a local responsible.
After finishing secondary studies, older girls will perform handicraft works in order to achieve economic self- sufficiency. They will be able to create and sustain new nuclear families, improving growth and education of the local community.
The following activities are expected to be promoted and performed:
a). Training to become Family Assistants
Subjects: pedagogy/ housekeeping and accountancy/ farming, (vegetables, plants, flowers)/ breeding/ handicraft/ little maintenance and repairs/ feeding and food conservation/ hygiene and health care.
b). Support to governmental school
Courses held by teachers to widen girls' knowledge.
c). Intensive courses on extracurricular subjects
- Held by highly qualified teachers;
- Destined to members of the local community;
- Subjects: languages (Portuguese, English, Italian...)/ management/ obstetrics and sex education/ health care and first aid/ accountings/ agriculture/ breeding and veterinary/ handicraft.
d). Handicraft Laboratories
- Started with the co-operation of local community and aimed to provide girls' practical learning, thus contributing to the center self-sufficiency.
- activities: sewing/ cooking/ food conservation/ weaving and textile picture/ maintenance and repairs.
e). Training activities for the local community
Opportunity to attend courses as per item c).
f). Basic learning and ethical/moral education
- Every day information transmitted to the girls living in the Centre by the family assistants;
- Values and principles transmitted through scheduled meetings with laic and religious instructors.
g). Sports activities
For girl child living at the Centre and for children of the local community, promoting in particular team sports ( rugby, basketball, volleyball ...), to fill properly the leisure time of young people and to complete, thanks to the values and to the educational content transmitted by sport, school activities and education.
The Nando Peretti Foundation awarded a grant for this project, to achieve the following goals:
- Support the development of young female population respecting existing traditions and family ties. Improve, at the same time, the capabilities of each of the girls accepted and educated.
- Enrich girls' overall general education, by joining the ordinary school program with a complementary teaching aiming to broaden their knowledge and notions.
- Improve quality of life of the whole population, thanks to the active influence of the girls educated at the Centre in their family and at their workplace.
- Thanks to the example provided for by girls and through the activities performed at the Centre, encourage the development and the participation of the local community, in order to reach the "O Viveiro" system self-sufficiency and the economical-social and cultural valorization of its context.
- Promote the development and the strengthening of local human and professional resources through co-operation and participation to the different steps of the project, particularly education (child and children, family assistants, teachers/qualified instructors).
- Granting, starting from the girls living in the Centre (23 in the first home), a full educational program (primary and secondary school, up to 12°class ESG2 conclusion) and a level of human, religious, moral, ethical, social and professional growth, allowing them to continue their studies (University or specialization), to undertake self-employment activities, to consciously form new families, to co-operate (working at O Viveiro or exporting its model) to the growth of other girls.
O Viveiro ONLUS is an Italian non-profit moral association whose mission is to foster human, moral and social formation and support the educational growth of boys, girls and children in need.
In order to achieve its institutional goals (art. 4 - Statute) O Viveiro non-profit Organization takes advantage of the experience and the free voluntary co-operation of people acting as an association from more than 30 years, providing assistance and moral support both in Italy and abroad (helping persons having an handicap, promoting fund raising campaign for people in need, delivering humanitarian aids).
To carry out its general statutory activities (art. 5 - Statute) and in order to promote the realization of the O Viveiro Centre in Chitima and the project "Educate a girl child to educate a people", the Organization since 2007 co-operates with several organizations, groups and institutions which have helped in promoting the project and in the achievement of crucial goals:
1). "ORA (Opera Regina Apostolorum) community's young missionary group", Rome (Italy) - supporting the purchase of land for the realization of the Centre O Viveiro in Chitima;
2). "Parrocchia Gran Madre di Dio", Rome (Italy) - participating and supporting the construction of Maria Mater Dei Chapel in the Centre (dedicated on July, the 16th 2010) and is now furthermore promoting a twinning program between Mozambican and Italian children;
3). "Parrocchia di S.Maria di Chiaravalle di Fiastra", Tolentino (MC) - "Parrocchia di S. Maria ai Monti", Rome (Italy) - helping with general contributions to the realization of the first home for the girl child;
4). "Fondazione S.Matteo in memoria del Card. Van Thuân" - contributing to the realization of the first housing for assistants and educators;
5). "CMC - Cooperativa Muratori e Cementisti Ravenna", Italy - which, through the Africa Austral Lda branch provided for free a wide range of building material to complete the work mentioned under point 4.
The project complies with the National objectives indicated by PNAC - Mozambique (Plano Nacional de Acção para a Criança) and Mozambican Provincial and District Government Institutions in respect of Human and Civil Rights, Safety and Social Protection, Universal Access to Education and Leisure Activities.
The Direcção Provincial da Mulher e Acção Social, (DPMAST - Tete) has expressed its favourable opinion (note n.567/DPMST/07 08 June 2007). The overall project and its steps are periodically submitted to the Authorities, depending upon their specific field of concern.
The project "Educate a girl child to educate a people" strongly sustains the development of female population, from first youth, so that the girls educated at the Centre can reach such a level of human and professional preparation allowing them to continue their studies (University or specialization), undertake self-employment activities, consciously form new families and co-operate (working at "O Viveiro" or exporting its model) to the growth of other girls.
The project "Educate a girl child to educate a people" is a part (a most important part!) of a larger project already started in Chitima, Cahora Bassa District- Province of Tete (Mozambique) that includes the realization (already started) of a building complex which will provide housing to young girls granting at the same time spaces for educational and handicraft activities.
The area includes:
- n.6 lodging units (1 already built),
- n.1 educators' house (already built);
- n.1 classrooms - handicraft workshop (under construction);
- n.1 library;
- n.1 infirmary;
- n.1 guardian lodge and n.1 management office for coordination and management (already built);
- facilities for sports and recreational activities / farming and breeding patches (partially started);
- common facilities (already built : restroom, cleansing laboratories/laundry, kitchen refectory) and general infrastructure (already built: two wells, fence, storehouse, workers facilities, water tank, septic tank, water and electric power distribution...); Chapel (already built).
The surface of the whole Chitima Center is of 7 ha.
The Centre is provided with a minibus for girls/ staff/ visitors transport (on a regular basis and / or in case of emergency).