FUNDACAO LURDES MUTOLA

Promote the empowerment and development of youth, encouraging them to wake their entrepreneurial, creative and innovative spirit, and to take their physical and intellectual capacities to work in partnership with community based organizations and their leaders.
Sep 8, 2010

Mid Year Report on Program

The program continues to bring great benefits to communities. There has been an increase in the number of applicants in 2010 (about 75), the locations covered (12 villages), number of scholarships awarded (25) and the sheer will of the community to actively participate in the program, giving advice and participating in decision-making. The meeting of parents and guardians, which took place in June 2010, reflected much of the will and interest to participate more actively in the program. Many parents were grateful for the opportunity and wanted to know what they could do to improve the program, to support the social workers in their work. All questions raised by the parents are evidence of community involvement, interest and recognition for the work of the LWF (success of the program). Currently, the concerns are: • What future for the grant holders have completed basic education (10th grade)? • The fate of the daughters, if continue to have support for their training or ends here? • After 10th grade, will the girls enter the work/professional environment?

The 2010 scholarships cover most of the localities of the district, and for the first time, in sampling the scholars, the program found that it is inadvertently helping a sub-set of the most marginalized rural girls of Magude: Orphans and Vulnerable Children (OVC's). According to an analysis of District Directorate of Education of Magude, 90% of girls in 2010 class are orphaned by a parent and live in conditions of extreme poverty. It is true that the lack of piped water in the center has been a great challenge but the foundation has been negotiating ways to solve the problem, which undoubtedly undergo high monetary costs. Another major problem was the water crisis (high costs) which, like any scarce resource leads to conflict, was diagnosed some evidence of conflict within the center, regardless of if it was properly managed. In short, More School for Me is in its third year of implementation. Some challenges remain, as above mentioned, but the most satisfying part is seeing the involvement and development of rural girls and the growing participation of the communities in supporting the future and expansion of this project. Today they can read, write in two languages (in addition to Portuguese, learning English and French), are communicative, engage in extra-curricular activities (using computers, cameras, camcorders, cooking, sewing, pottery, agriculture and issues related to the tragedy of HIV/AIDS that many of them are indirect victims), and Help them make decisions concerning their future (including continued education in the future of the program).

Mar 27, 2010

2010 School-year Begins

The two houses completed, standing side by side.
The two houses completed, standing side by side.

We began to finalize the second house (dorm) in September 2009, thanks to a large donation through the globalgiving site thanks to Andrea Vieria in Washington DC as welll as many other donors to the Globalgiving site, to the Friends of the Lurdes Mutola Foundation (www.youngmindsofafrica.org), a 501(c)3 Foundation that operates in California. In February of 2010, the house was completed and a total of 40 girls occupied the house, from the 8th and 10th grade classes. The finalization of the second house, was a long process, but has allowed for all of the now three year’s participants to be on one location. The architectural plans were changed for the house to allow for four living spaces where ten girls would share a large room. The 60 girls all share the cooking and cleaning chores within the two houses on rotating schedules.

Unfortunately, the education system in Mozambique cannot adapt to the increasing demand for education in the country. This is especially felt in peri-urban and rural areas such as Magude. Some classes, like Portuguese, still do not have teachers at the school teaching them, because teachers are in short supply in Mozambique. To confront this challenge, the MEpM program has provided tutors for the girls to continue their schooling outside of the classroom.

In agreement with parents, the Foundation has established tighter controls, advice and guidance towards ensuring better social behavior by the girls, as the risks of adolescent pregnancy is pervasive in Mozambique, and two of the program’s past participants have become mothers. Two out of 60 girls is prettyu good infact, the norm in Mozambique sees more than 30% of girls becoming mothers by the time they are 17, the average age of our scholarship participants. In addition FLM has provided three lectures and activities for guidance in sexual reproductive health and HIV. For these activities, FLM counted on the support of two NGOs in equipment and training of assistants, Caritas Diosesana and N'weti.

FLM has strengthened it approach to keep parents involved in their children’s education, which is by no means a small task. Coming from distant locations, without their own means of transport, the meetings held with parents every two month on the progress of their daughters allows the girls to keep strong relationships with their parents through the Foundation’s program.

One major change for this year is that the 10th grade class will need to choose what technical training course they will want to take upon completion, if they so choose. They are not obligated to continue onto the 11th and 12th grade, with a 10th grade education, they can participate in two year training course to become health workers, teachers or other types of civil servants. It seems like more than half of the 16 girls from the inaugural MEpM class will want enroll in a teacher course.

The 10th grade class doing extra studies at night.
The 10th grade class doing extra studies at night.
Artemisia, an ex-10th student with her child.
Artemisia, an ex-10th student with her child.
Some new scholarship recipients, from Motaze town.
Some new scholarship recipients, from Motaze town.
More of the entering 8th grade scholarship winners
More of the entering 8th grade scholarship winners
The new 8th grade class with their parents.
The new 8th grade class with their parents.
School supplies: red backpacks!
School supplies: red backpacks!
Sep 11, 2009

THE SECOND HOUSE IS COMING

Montage of the 8th grade girls (one is missing!).
Montage of the 8th grade girls (one is missing!).

We started the second half of 2009 and the MEpM program is ongoing. The dormitory of MEpM is increasingly appropriate to the needs of the girls. As implemented activities, successes and challenges of this period, first saying that the academic performance of the girls was assessed in a joint meeting of the FLM, district board of education, the secondary school of Magude and the girls parents in the last 1st August. In general, the performance is good but the newest have serious difficulties in basic subjects (Mathematics and Portuguese). The truth is that for FLM's investment the performance is not the most desirable. In this sense, FLM bought more school supplies and found too teachers to work with the girls to retrieve their grades. In agreement with parents, the foundation established tighter control, advice and guidance in sexual behavior in order to exclude the threat of adolescent pregnancy that we were victims twice in the program. In addition we already taught three lectures and activities for guidance in sexual reproductive health and HIV / AIDS, and for this we were supported by two NGOs in equipment and training of assistants, Caritas Diosesana and N'weti.

Second, we will start soon the work to finish the second dormitory of MEpM to place more 22 girls that will apply to the program in 2010. Outside this, the major challenges that present themselves at the moment are: the lack of water in the district where is located the dormitories and the urgently necessity to vaccinate girls against some opportunistic diseases as meningitis.

Finally, the Foundation is about to finish the second dormitory this year to make the program sustainable, this will permanently increase access to secondary school for girls far from Magude town by more than 30%. The foundation is also working to the expansion of program curriculum next year to include computer education and is working to have water in the dormitory.

Constancia, the live-in social worker, in the house at lunchtime
Constancia, the live-in social worker, in the house at lunchtime
The girls walking to school under the big Magude sky.
The girls walking to school under the big Magude sky.
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