The VSO Mozambique Girls Education Project reached 6,486 children and trained 234 teachers. A further 1328 out-of-school girls and parents attended adult literacy and numeracy classes and 390 out-of-school girls and parents attended vocational trainings. A further 389 women, 540 young girls and 973 additional community members were equipped with HIV prevention and Sexual and Reproductive Health knowledge.
Generations of Mozambican girls have suffered from a system that prioritises the education of boys. Girls are less likely to complete primary school, and far fewer women are able to read and write than their male counterparts.
Since 2001, VSO has been supporting the government and local partners to improve the quality of education in Mozambique amid significant challenges: high drop-out rates, rampant teacher absenteeism and lack of resources including facilities and teaching and learning materials.
With our aim of serving the most marginalised people in society, VSO is focusing on girls in its education programme in Mozambique. Our aim, through projects such as the Girls' Education Challenge, is to create an enabling, gender-sensitive school and community environment.
Results so far include:
- 234 teachers and 663 school council members trained in gender responsive training curriculums
- Reached 6,855 marginalised school-age girls, 975 parents and out-of-school girls, and 50,000 community members across 39 schools and 71 girls' clubs
- Our Girls Education Challenge reached 5418 girls at risk of dropping out of school in lower primary school, including 297 with disabilities, 1080 orphaned, 2725 from poor families and 1388 living in remote isolated areas that are very far from the nearest school.
- Over 85% of the targeted girls receiving peer support from lead girls now believe that it is important to complete their education
Better sexual and reproductive health
Mozambicans' access to basic social services remains low, with an impact on public health. HIV prevalence remains high at 11.5%, with youth aged 15-19 accounting more than half of the total. In certain regions of the country, rates are as high as 17%.
Young people are especially vulnerable. Stigma and discrimination often prevent them from accessing a range of essential SRH services and rights. In places like Manica, where VSO currently works, 58% of girls are married and 45.9% are pregnant before the age of 18.
In Mozambique, VSO's programme tackles HIV prevention and SRH; economic empowerment if women and girls; and evidence-based advocacy to promote a policy environment conducive to women and girls.
Working in six districts, our Gender Empowerment and Development to Enhance Rights (GENDER) project has so far:
- Equipped 389 women, 540 girls and 973 additional community members with HIV prevention and sexual & reproductive health knowledge, contributing to increased uptake of HIV and AIDS prevention and relevant services.
- Referred 361 young people to youth friendly services at the health centre
- Provided coaching and mentoring to four local partners, now supported to continue community interventions and advocacy efforts as the project implementation period concludes
At least 30,000 Mozambicans work in the mines of South Africa. The work is dangerous. Men who work as miners are vulnerable to injuries and fatal accidents. More than one in five (22%) are infected by HIV.
All of this has a big impact on their families. Many women are widowed and young women are forced by circumstance to become breadwinners in spite of having few marketable skills.
Through VSO's ‘Phoning Out Poverty and AIDS’ (POPA) project in Mozambique,
- 297 women have been supported to improve their income,
- 207 women have been trained as HIV and AIDS caregivers
- 4650 people are more aware of how to stop the spread of HIV
How one widowed grandma traded her way out of poverty
Maria Jacinto relied on her husband's income from the mines to feed herself and her family. When she became a widow, life was plunged into uncertainty. Maria went from widow to breadwinner and turned her family's fortunes around.
Chitunga Micro Hydro project (renewable energy and livelihoods). Partnering with Bentley International Systems we're working to utilise Manica Province's abundant water supply to create a reliable and adequate supply of electricity for the people of Chitunga. As part of the project we are supporting local government to increase job creation opportunities, including skills for local women.
What makes VSO unique in Mozambique?
We believe that it is only possible to achieve meaningful and lasting change when the right people with the right skills are brought together at the right time. VSO facilitates this knowledge and skills sharing, harnessing hard and soft skills through partnerships and the spirit of volunteerism. We work within a variety of contexts, and within a given context, at all levels of society fostering and strengthening interplay between key stakeholders – from government Ministries to small community based organisations to private sector and entrepreneurs, sex workers, mineworkers, health workers, teachers, parents and young people.
VSO valued funding partners include:
- Bentley Foundation
- BIG Lottery Fund
- International Organisation for Migration
- MEDICOR Foundation
- Guernsey Overseas Aid
Interested in finding out more about our work in Mozambique? We’d love to hear from you.
Address: VSO Mozambique, Av. Julius Nyerere, No. 1593, Maputo, Mozambique, P.O. Box 902
Tel: +258 21 497 651