Challenging Perspectives Photo Challenge – Mozambique

To encourage SERVE 2015 volunteers to think critically about common perceptions and misconceptions related to developing countries, we were given the task of taking photos that we think will challenge the perspectives of people in Ireland – keeping in mind the Dochas Code of Conduct on Images and Messages.

With this task in mind, we quickly realised that it would not be that difficult to fulfil. While so much has changed, developing countries continue to be described through a series of lacks and absences, failings and problems, plagues and catastrophes.

The buzz of energy and enthusiasm around the Young Africa Skills Training Centres in Beira and Dondo (mozambique) are a sight to behold.  Thousands of young people are getting the opportunity to learn and train, and gain employable skills that will set them on the road of self sufficiency.  The holistic educational approach offered by Young Africa through the provision of courses, life skills training, micro-credit and entrepreneurship promotion is successfully graduating successful and employable young adults.  Courses include dressmaking, building technology, carpentry, welding, cooking, waiters course, hardware repairs, motor mechanics, panel beating, turning + fitting, electricals, plumbing, air conditioning, beauty & hairdressing, child minding, business management, financial management, accounting, computer applications and English, agriculture, horticulture, mechanics of farm equipment, poultry management, cattle management, fish culture, forestry, food processing, agri-business management and farm management.  This is the Africa we need to read and experience more of.  #TheAfricaTheMediaNeverShowsYou.


  1. Young Africa students engrossed in an explanation of how a sewing machine works: what would be a stereotypical female profession back home attracts a lot of male attention here in Mozambique. (Photo: Helena Brecht)
  2. Young Africa Campus Dondo: the drip irrigation system is conserving precious water and employing cost effective farming techniques. (Photo:Julian Commandeur)
  3. This is Inés. Inés recently graduated from Young Africa Beira with a qualification in construction studies. Over the past few weeks, Inés has been working with us on the site for the new kitchen in the crèche and is the only female construction student this term. Every day she arrives on to the construction site wearing beautiful clothes before she has to change for work. (Photo:Rachel Bourke)
  4. Some of the Civil Construction students being interviewed for a local radio station on their graduation day. Around 700 students graduated from Young Africa Beira on this day, which caused excitement for the surrounding community. (Photo:Alex Gaffney)
  5. Over 700 students graduated this term from Young Africa Beira. Along with their qualifications, all have received invaluable skills and training, instilling confidence and further empowering these young people. (Photo: Luke Winston)
  6. This is a picture of living facilities for cattle in rural Mozambique.
  7. Mozambique is photo crazy! People love taking pictures and selfies, such as these students on their graduation day from Young Africa in Dondo. (Photo: Helena Brecht)
  8. This is the female construction teacher Gracinda showing some of the students the ropes on the building site. She is a local business owner like all the heads of departments in Young Africa and obviously knows her stuff.
  9. Almost five minutes down the road is a commercial cattle shed ready for use at Young Africa Agri-tech, Dondo. This shed is designed for a much larger scale farming. Young Africa not only provide new ideas, but they also motivate and provide many opportunities to the local people to expand their existing knowledge and expertise.  (Photo: Maria Winters)
  10. A joint initiative between Young Africa and a local prison has benefits for both sides. The prisoners work in the fields of Young Africa Dondo and in return they earn a wage and learn useful skills for when they are reintroduced into society. (Photo:Alex Gaffney)