In Mozambique SERVE works with two partners – Young Africa Mozambique and the Muvamba Community.
Mozambique is ranked 165th on the Human Development Index. It remains dependant on foreign assistance for more than half of its annual budget, and the majority of the population remain below the poverty line. Mozambique is an overwhelmingly rural country with agriculture being the predominant activity. However, only 15.3% of the arable land is cultivated and less than 4% used beyond subsistence farming. This results in chronic malnutrition as farmers only produce enough food to feed their families adequately for less than eight months of the year. In Mozambique less than 1% of the rural population has benefited from skills training. Mozambique lacks TVET possibilities in general, but even more so for the rural and informal economy and for people without, or with low academic qualifications.
Young Africa Mozambique is based on the outskirts of the city of Beira. Young Africa is focused on empowering young people to live independently, through practical skills and life skills training and works in two communities near Beira. At Manga community it has a TVET Centre which has been operational since 2008 and has provided accredited TVET training in 17 distinct skills to over 2,000 young people as of the end of 2010. Life skills training is mainstreamed into all activities and 70% of graduates are economically active. Young Africa operates a pioneering Franchise Model which involves local business people running their business as franchisees at the TVET Centre. Young people are trained as part of the production process or service delivery, and graduate with an accredited qualification. This model has helped the TVET centre achieve 55% self-sustainability after 4 years. There is huge potential for the agricultural sector in Mozambique and within the context of the Beira Agricultural Growth Corridor plan Young Africa plans to replicate the Franchise Model in a new centre in Dondo community – providing exclusively agricultural based TVET courses to rural youth. SERVE are committed to working with Young Africa on this project.
Muvamba Mission is located 80km north of the district town of Massinga. The physical location called Muvamba Mission consists of a primary school and secondary school, youth centre, nutrition centre and maternity ward. The site serves the communities living within a radius of 100km. The wider area of Muvamba is a rural area of 3,500km2 with a population of 51,000 people dispersed around fifty local communities. Illiteracy rates are in excess of 70% and in many communities the rate is over 90% for females. Many of the communities are so rural and isolated that primary school education has only been available for the last two years. The development challenges in Muvamba include access to water, provision of primary health care, provision of primary and secondary school education, fighting illiteracy, sustainable agriculture, income generating projects, working with young people, combating a HIV/AIDS rate of 13% and the provision of infrastructure such as roads etc. SERVE have been working with the Muvamba Mission for the past seven years. This partnership has included support for development projects run by the Muvamba Mission and the sending of Irish volunteers to work in Muvamba.