Nearly five centuries of Portuguese rule ended in 1975 for the
southeastern African country of Mozambique, once one of the world’s poorest
countries. More than 1 million people in this coastal country have HIV or AIDS,
and 58 percent of them women.
At nearly 104 deaths per 1,000 live births, the infant mortality
rate here is one of the highest in the world. Almost 15 percent of infants die
before reaching their first birthday and 25 percent before age 5.
ChildFund has served children in Mozambique since 2005.
A Child’s First Years
To help give infants in Mozambique a fighting chance at life,
ChildFund educates mothers about pre- and postnatal care. We also work to
closely monitor child growth and to provide immunizations, which are too often
in short supply. Because pregnant mothers and small children are at greatest
risk for malaria, community health volunteers work to raise awareness about
preventing the disease, and also distribute treated bed nets to protect
children and families from malaria-carrying mosquitoes.
To fight against malnutrition, our work also includes providing
training on nutrition and food security techniques.
In many schools in Mozambique, class size can reach up to 90
students. There are no desks, so students sit on dirt floors or rough logs.
Sometimes, there are no bathrooms or even latrines. Teachers have little or no
formal education. And in many cases, girls do not have access to education at
ChildFund has set up parent-teacher councils to help educate
entire communities about the value of education. In addition to rehabilitating
and even building schools, ChildFund provides chairs, desks, blackboards and
basic reference texts as well as supplies and sports equipment for cultural
groups and sports groups. Children engaging in gardening programs provide
produce for school lunches and snacks, and in some schools children are even
able to sell surplus produce to help provide books and supplies for those most
ChildFund works with youth to ensure they have the marketable and
life skills they need to make a successful transition into the work force. In
one program, we train youth as trainers themselves, and they impart their
knowledge to other young people. When provided with training and material for
producing mats, carpets and baskets, they are equipped for employment or to
create their own entrepreneurial opportunities.
To support young people at risk for low academic achievement,
especially orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV or AIDS, ChildFund
trains youth as tutors who provide academic support and mentoring for younger children throughout
the school years.
Training programs in healthy living, including reproductive
health, educate young individuals about making decisions that are most likely to
preserve their potential and opportunities.