In Mozambique, many People with Disabilities (PWD) are still been discriminated and don’t have access to their basic Human Rights such as Education, Health and Information. They’re denied access to a decent life including by their relatives, especially in rural areas, where populations believe that disability is a punishment from God or a witchcraft result. In order to promote the access to Human Rights by PWD, DVV International developed and implemented the Inclusive Adult Education and Literacy Project (IAEL, 2013-2015) in partnership with the Association of Blind and Visually Impaired of Mozambique (ACAMO), in provinces of Maputo (in the South) and Sofala (in the Center), benefiting more than 2,000 adult and young people of whom 25% were PWD.
The IAEL Project was the first in Mozambique since the introduction of Adult Education (AE) programs after the National Independence in 1975, due its innovative features. One of its important innovations was the use of Community Radios to sensitize and mobilize people to join the AE programs, because in the areas where IAEL Project was implemented, some families still deprived PWD the access to AE, keeping them closed in their homes.
An assessment of a Project realized in 2016 by independent consultants concluded that it contributed for reduction of discrimination against PWD and illiteracy rates in Mozambique, which still around 43.9 percent. The IAEL Project had two main strategies: Awareness and Training. According to Census (2007), the statistical data of PWD were about 2.3% of the total population (475,011), of which about 50,230 were children with disabilities and 1,591 people with special educational needs.
"Being deficient does not mean the end of the world", Marta Bazima, IAEL Project beneficiary
"If I could start all again, I would do everything to go to university to help many women to fight against the discrimination they are still submitted to; to allow their children the access to good education and above all to show the world that being disabled does not means the end of everything”, said Mariana Bazima, beneficiary of the IAEL Project.
Mariana Bazima, 78 years old, said that she grew up knowing that being disabled was a punishment from God and PWD could not work or be useful to society. Bazima attended and successfully completed the 3rd year of AE and said that being a woman worsens the situation of PWD because even without this condition, women continue discriminated and relegated to domestic responsibilities; to work the farm and produce food; take care of the house; prepare meals and look after their children and husband.
"I was born again because I see the world differently" Jalita Julião Timane
Jalita Timane, 49 years old, natural and resident in Manhiça District, in Maputo Province, has successfully attended the 3rd year of AE. With great pride, Timane said that he feels like she was born again because so much has begun to change in her life, since she learned to write, read and speak Portuguese.
"For example, I already know how to use my cell phone easily, including to save money through my mobile account. Its helps to improve my life and my family", she said, adding that malaria is endemic in Manhiça and the rates of HIV/AIDS are high. "I easily protect myself from these and other diseases, since I already know how to read, differently from the past", she reiterated.
"Tank very much to DVV International. I ask DVV to expand this Project to other places where it does not exist yet, to help many people who are still living in the dark", he said.
DVV International implemented the Female Literacy Project in Angola and Mozambique (FELITAMO), which allowed the empowerment of more than 5,000 women through the skills of Writing, Reading and Calculation, mostly in the provinces of Cabo Delgado and Nampula, in the North of Mozambique and in Kwanza-Sul, Angola.
FELITAMO was a three year project that began in February 2010 and aimed to contribute to women’s literacy and empowerment by enhancing African Non State Actors’ (NSA) capacities to promote adult female literacy models at national, regional and international levels; to strengthen the capacity of Angolan and Mozambican NSA to develop and apply innovative literacy practices supporting women’s participation and to engage Angolan and Mozambican NSA in policy development around quality Literacy and Adult Education programmes.
The Project had four main partners: (i) MEPT – Movement of Education for All (Mozambique); (ii) Associação Progresso (Mozambique); (iii) AAEA – Associação Angolana para Educação de Adultos (Angola), and (iv) FEMNET – The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (Kenya).
The Project was implemented in two provinces Cabo Delgado and Nampula in Mozambique and one in Angola, with a different implementing partner and methodology in each case. The Project took into account the different social, cultural, and geographical context of each of the partners while resting firmly on the principle that there are certain best practices that tend to bring positive results irrespective of the context. These included a strong sense of ownership at all levels, from the implementing partners to the level of the individual in the community, and a participatory approach in which the learners were consulted and make decisions on the contents and implementation – as opposed to an approach prescribed and administered by those from outside the community. When these practices are observed, they tend to be accompanied by positive outcomes.
Conversely when these practices are not in evidence, the results often fall short of our hopes and expectations. Furthermore, the Project seek to mainstream gender at all levels as a means to redress the unequal status of women in Mozambican and Angolan society.
Tackling gender inequality in rural communities requires that we analyse the prevailing attitudes and cultural factors that are at play. Ingrained ideas of men and women’s traditional roles do not change overnight, yet through education and working closely with communities we can empower women so that they themselves play a central role in this process. It is also essential that we involve men so that they understand the benefits that female education brings to the individual, family, community, and beyond.
“Literacy has changed my life”, Zainabo Muquissirima
Zainabo Muquissirima, who lives in Tocolo Community in Nampula Province, attended 3rd level of the literacy programme. She is a farmer. In her childhood she did not have the opportunity to learn to read and write because of various problems, such as the premature loss of her parents which led her to get into farming work in detriment of her education. With the implementation the FELIAMO Project Zainabo had the opportunity to focus on her education. This brought her benefits as demonstrated by her own testimony.
“During my childhood I did not have the opportunity to go to school. Thanks to the implementation of FELITAMO here in Tocolo community, I learned how to read and write assisted by my daughter who is a literacy facilitator in the circle. Today I know numbers and I am able to write my full name. When I go to the hospital, I can read my number in the queue and I can help other people who cannot read and write. Literacy changed my life, so I intend to continue studying so that one day I can help the people around me in my community. My dream is to create, together with others in the community, an association to carry out tailoring in which the activities become a way of inviting other women to participate in the Project”.
Zainabo Muquissirima is a good example of a woman who overcame the obstacles to education and who through the FELITAMO Project managed to emancipate herself and her family. Like her, there are others that with hard work and dedication managed to positively inﬂuence their lives through literacy.
The LEITAC Project aimed to improve the income and livelihoods of milk-producing cooperatives by increasing the skills and knowledge of cooperatives and their workers, particularly literacy and numeracy, management and administration of small cooperatives. Under LEITAC, more than 150 members and employees of dairy cooperatives, as well as their families, were trained.
The project was funded by the Federal Ministry of Development and German Economic Cooperation (BMZ) and implemented through interventions by (i) DVV International, which focuses on Project outcome 1 (curriculum development and its institutionalization); (ii) DGRV focusing on outcome 2 (training of members of dairy cooperatives and engagement in cooperative and curricular development, (iii) Tillers supporting curriculum development and implementation of agrarian issues, (iv) Magariro, which facilitates social mobilization, liaison with local education authorities and the target group of the intervention (members, dairy workers and members of their families), (v) Land O 'Lake (LoL), which supported the mobilization of members of cooperatives and provided offices for the DGRV Training Officer in Chimoio and (vi) the Provincial Directorate of Education and Culture of Manica that oversees the implementation of the Project and was involved in the definition of the curriculum institutionalization plan.