health, education, sustainability:
Pillars of Development
Our community centers are unique in that they are 100% HomeGrown. They arise from communities in response to real and immediate needs. Instead of imposing a framework from the outside, we support communities in their own development goals. Over time, we have discovered some common threads. Experience tells us that health, education, and sustainability are the pillars of development. We work to support communities in these three areas because we have learned that these three areas create the foundation for real and lasting change.
Families in rural Mozambique often are not able to send their children to school. Access to schools in terms of distance, access to supplies, and no previous access to education in the rural villages prevents many children from attending. The Escolinha provides the foundation of classroom learning that the young children need in order to succeed in the larger city-run schools. We also host several vocational training programs including carpentry and sewing/tailoring, as well as computer literacy. We sponsor individuals from the village to attend courses and seminars in the city on topics such as Small Business Management, Agriculture, and Nutrition.
Access to basic healthcare and nutritional counseling is a major component of our Open Community Centers. Children in rural areas often die of malnutrition or simple medical complaints – the Center provides access to care and promotes effective preventative healthcare measures in the community. Our Community Health Activists make their rounds in their areas - they identify sick and vulnerable individuals and provide counseling and support in their care. They host Community Health Fairs every month in different villages throughout the district where they screen for common diseases and put on educational theatrical performances about various topics in public and preventative health.
The Escolinha provides an invaluable service to the community, and allows the OpenCenter direct access to the community’s most vulnerable members. The children are fed two nutritious meals per day, and are provided the foundation for lifelong education and learning. As the student parents volunteer their time as members of the OpenCenter, they share in the empowerment of a better life for all. The Center then provides access to both children and their parents, so that health and safety initiatives may be taught.