Mozambique: Building Entrepreneurs and Focusing on the Environment

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Update to the Global Board
(October 2008)

Executive Summary

During the third quarter, The Hunger Project implemented activities which positively impacted our partners, in terms of food processing and focusing on environmental issues.

Food processing is not only about food conservation and nutrition, but also about increasing income generation. In fact, after training, some partners have started businesses using what they have learned. A major impact of this activity is that partners decided themselves to invite those who did not attend the food processing training to show them what they have learned. They have been replicating this experience at Manhiça Epicenter and within villages.

The Hunger Project has also concentrated on ensuring environmental sustainability by planting trees at Chokwe Epicenter. In partnership with the Education Sector of the government, The Hunger Project-Mozambique built two latrines for children at a local primary school in Chokwe, close to the epicenter. Meanwhile, in Manhiça, The Hunger Project-Mozambique is setting a potable water supply system at the epicenter for the local community.

We saw a major difference in outcomes in the third quarter from the second quarter from 2008. We find that it was due to the fact that during the previous quarter, the project was concentrated on issues with less tangible benefits for the partners (such as creating partnerships and mobilizing and training partners). As a result, we did not implement all planned activities. For example, Manhiça Epicenter is not finished completely as it does not have any furniture. In addition, health workshops did not take place as planned. However, in last quarter, The Hunger Project implemented almost all the activities that had been planned, with positive and tangible impacts.

Although The Hunger Project has increased its performance, there are issues that The Hunger Project-Mozambique would like to explain:

The Hunger Project-Mozambique is facing difficulties in the Epicenter Strategy in the way that it is designed. For example, in regards to health centers or clinics: according to regulations in Mozambique, in rural areas, clinics or hospitals should not be connected to other facilities or services and should be in a separate building. Due to the epicenter design, The Hunger Project-Mozambique is facing serious problems with health services, which makes it difficult to establish partnerships with the government.

Another difficulty is in relation to food production on communal land. Mozambican people have had bad experiences in relation to food production at communal land, and nobody wants to use this model again. These days in Mozambique, farmers are organized in associations and they are happy with these organizations. They prefer to work as farmers associations rather than working as indicated in the Epicenter Strategy. Even the government encourages farmers to create associations. As a result, only a handful of people work at communal land.

The Hunger Project-Mozambique suggests that the Epicenter Strategy should be flexible and adjustable to each country's reality, in order to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.

Details on Progress

Achievements

Food Processing, Nutrition: Animators and other partners replicate the experience; some partners use food processing to increase their income generation at Manhiça Epicenter.

Tree Planting: Animators and other partners are asking for trees to plant on their lands. Partners and literacy trainees water plants/trees at the Chokwe Epicenter.

Training of Animators: Animators are collecting information for monitoring and evaluation, mobilizing partners for community activities and are involved in other project's activities.

Literacy classes/awareness increased: More people, not only African Woman Food Farmer Initiative (AWFFI) partners, attend literacy classes. The government is now more concerned about it and created a partnership with The Hunger Project-Mozambique to build a shelter for literacy classes in Djodjo (Chokwe Epicenter).

Objectives Not Yet Accomplished

Communal land did not produce during the six-month period (in Djojo/Chokwe Epicenter): Conflict between humans and animals: if there is not ecological and economic zoning within the area, there is a need to fence the communal land before starting food production activities.

Clinic at epicenter is ready but does not work with government: Lack of Epicenter Strategy flexibility; epicenter buildings should be flexible, according to each country reality.

Epicenter building at Manhiça was not completed as scheduled: Community participation/volunteers did not properly undertake their activities. In addition, the builder failed in his commitment.

Recent Innovations

At Chokwe Epicenter, our partners are facing problems with the irrigation system. The Hunger Project-Mozambique realized the solution was very expensive. Thus, The Hunger Project and partners found local solutions, by digging and improving the canal for irrigation.

At Chokwe Epicenter, The Hunger Project-Mozambique introduced a system to collect water during the rainy season, given that in this district drought is a serious issue.

Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E)

Approximately 30 animators are involved in collecting information for M&E. For next quarter, we are planning to continue with training, especially for health issues and data collecting.

Partnerships

The Hunger Project-Mozambique established partnerships with government institutions namely for agriculture and education. There is ongoing progress with the health sector.

The Agriculture Sector trained our partners in food processing in August 2008. This activity is going to continue, and it includes training on post-harvest activities and other technologies. The Education Sector pays teachers or trainers for literacy classes in both epicenters.

In addition, The Hunger Project-Mozambique and the Community and Education Sectors established a partnership to build a shelter for literacy classes in Chokwe (Djodjo Village). The Hunger Project-Mozambique, in partnership with a local primary school, built two latrines for children at the school in August 2008.

Furthermore, The Hunger Project also established partnership with Pathfinder, an NGO. Pathfinder is training animators for health activities in Manhiça and The Hunger Project is going to use the same animators. Pathfinder is also going to supply our partners with bed-nets in Manhiça.

In-Country Funding Opportunities

The Hunger Project-Mozambique did not receive any in-country funding. However, we are looking for other sources of funding and at the present moment, we are checking the main NGOs in the country to learn about their activities in order to know which has funding to support others NGOs.

Broader Awareness of The Hunger Project/Media Coverage

The Hunger Project-Mozambique did not have any media coverage, because we feel that is not time to discuss project activities in media before certain issues are solved.

Future Plans

For the next quarter, the objectives of The Hunger Project Mozambique are:

  • To create partnership and sign an agreement with the government health sector in order to have partners use a clinic next year (2009), at least at Chokwe Epicenter. This is a challenge because the clinic was not built according to the standard of the Ministry of Health in Mozambique which is not acceptable.
  • To produce food in both epicenters. This is a challenge, especially at Chokwe Epicenter, because of conflict between people and animals. To solve the problem, The Hunger Project and partners should join hands to fence the area.
  • To have an irrigation system in Manhiça working properly and producing food to convince partners in the community to increase their participation in Hunger Project activities. The partners in Manhiça are waiting to see all facilities in the epicenter to become more engaged.
  • To have more partners increase their income generation activities and replicate others or use knowledge they obtained during food processing training. If necessary, we should introduce more training for partners. The challenge is to make many of them feel more confident and start new activities to increase their income.
  • The Hunger Project-Mozambique is going to continue recovering outstanding loans from our partners. It is a challenge, because there is a lot of money in the hands of our partners. To recover outstanding loans is still a very big challenge and during the third quarter, AWFFI and SPIA partners were paid less than was expected. After getting loans back, AWFFI will again train loan committees and new groups before restarting loan disbursement.

Profile of a Leader

Messe Chauque (left) is an AWFFI partner and chair of the Loan Committee at Chokwe Epicenter. She is 45 years old, a widow and a mother of three children. She joined The Hunger Project in 2006 as a member of the loan committee in her village (Djodjo). She was also a member of the epicenter construction committee. Later she was elected chair of the Epicenter Loan Committee.

At that time she was married and was a farmer and also running a small business. When her husband died, she faced a lot of problems and experienced many difficulties raising her children. She received Mt 4.000,00 as her first loan in 2007 and used this money to increase food production and improve her business. She made a profit and paid back her loan. At the end of 2007, she received another loan (Mt 7.000, 00) to continue with her activities. She is very happy because she has enough money to raise her children, and send them to school outside the village (in Maputo and Manjangue town).

Country Profile - Mozambique

Population (male, female)

Male: 9,842,760; female: 10,524,035

Total: 20,366,795

Percent of population in rural areas64%
Infant mortality rate107.9/1,000
Maternal mortality rate529/100,000
Life expectancy43
Percent population undernourished44%
HIV/AIDS - Adult Prevalence16.20%
HIV/AIDS - deaths110,000
HIV/AIDS - People living with HIV/AIDS1,500,000
Literacy rate (male, female)Total: 53.6%
Primary School EnrollmentTotal 76%
GDP per capita$308
Population earning less than $1/day54.10%