Though a beautiful coastal nation, the Southern African country of Mozambique has a “young and rapidly expanding population” with one of the highest illiteracy rates in Africa. With a gross national income per capita of $480 in 2021, Mozambique is the fourth-poorest country in the world. In addition to economic poverty, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) reports, using the latest available data from a 2011 survey, that 73.1% of the population suffers from multidimensional poverty. The prevalence of poverty means many children in Mozambique suffer several deprivations.
Mozambique’s multidimensional poverty manifests in low literacy rates with only 63% of adults being literate in 2021. According to USAID, “Among children who finish primary school, nearly two-thirds leave the system without basic reading, writing and math skills.” For this reason, several organizations are centering efforts around helping children in Mozambique meet their basic needs and receive a proper education.
5 Initiatives Helping Children in Mozambique
- The Mozambique School Lunch Initiative’s School Feeding Program. Working to relieve food insecurity, the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative plans to provide nutritious school lunches daily to 1,700 students in six primary schools across rural Mozambique. The project requires $30,000 to fund this program and has raised $15,512 so far through the GlobalGiving platform.
- Seeds of Hope ODV’s Children’s Center. The Italy-based nonprofit Seeds of Hope ODV is working to open a center for 200 young people in Mozambique’s coastal town of Tofo. The organization intends to create a space for children and youth to learn practical skills, play, express their needs and receive mentorship that will help them rise out of poverty. Incredibly close to reaching its $10,000 goal, Seeds of Hope needs only $1,866 more to begin this project.
- The Mozambique School Lunch Initiative’s Girls Empowerment Program. This project from the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative aims to empower girls from Mozambican villages to attend high school. The initiative will take into account the individual needs of each student, from social assistance to logistical and financial support to dissolve any barriers to education. According to the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative, “In Mozambique, more than two-thirds of students drop out of school by the fifth grade.” Although many require support, the main focus will be on girls who would not otherwise be able to attend secondary school. So far, the initiative has raised $4,800 worth of donations to put toward its $15,000 goal.
- Help Code Italia Onlus’ Period Poverty Program. Also an Italy-based organization, Help Code Italia Onlus is working to regularly provide menstrual kits to 1,500 impoverished Mozambican schoolgirls. According to Help Code Italia Onlus, “due to lack of access to sanitary pads, during their periods, girls rely on unhygienic and uncomfortable materials that often prevent them from engaging in daily activities, including going to school.” These menstrual kits will help keeps girls in school. The program also aims to educate people on the importance of girls’ education and the impacts of child marriages, among other topics. The program has $12,435 to still raise to meet its $15,000 goal.
- PCI-Media Impact Campaign to Combat Child Mortality. According to PCI-Media Impact, “each year, 97 out of every 1,000 children in Mozambique die before reaching their fifth birthdays, one of the highest infant mortality rates in the world.” That is why PCI-Media Impact is working to provide crucial health information that can reach even the most remote communities through a radio program, Ouro Negro (Black Gold), with an audience of 1.5 million people. About 70% of surveyed listeners have made positive behavioral changes and the program has had major success since it first aired in 2015. PCI-Media has raised $600 toward its $65,000 goal.
Even though the impacts of poverty on children in Mozambique are harsh, organizations are committed to improving the lives of these children and ensuring a brighter future.