Success Stories from Food for Knowledge in Mozambique
It’s been about a year since the launch of Planet Aid's Food for Knowledge Project in Mozambique, a 3.5 year, USDA-sponsored health and education initiative benefiting over one million people. The project is part of the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, which aims to “support education, child development and food security in low-income, food-deficit countries around the globe.” So far, the project has already reached its goal of establishing School Learning Clubs in all 242 partnered institutions, in addition to enrolling 1,483 new educators in Teacher Training Colleges. Here are just two success stories from the initial stages of Food for Knowledge.
Like any good teacher, Pelágio knows that learning can, and should, be fun. ‘“The most important thing is to create a willingness to learn in a child. Achieving this depends on the creativity of the teacher,” he explains.
Pelágio Abílio Muteli, a second grade teacher in Machava, Mozambique, is a graduate of the ADPP Teacher Training College of Maputo, one of the many training systems supported by the Food for Education program. He uses songs and games to capture the attention of his students at EPC 5 de Fevereiro Primary School, and his popular extra-curricular classes helped every one of his students pass their final exams.
“My technique is to ensure that all children feel comfortable right from the start. I treat every child as if I already knew him or her. In this way he or she will feel that we are friends and that we are working towards the same goals,” he says. “This is key in reducing shyness and in creating a real willingness to learn.”
Selena is one of the many students who participates in her school’s Learning Club, an after-school program fostered by Food for Education.
“We have a lot of fun in the Club!” she says. “The thing is that we like to learn together and help each other. Sometimes we stay studying until late in the evening.”
The Learning Club encourages students to practice reading and writing Portuguese in a more relaxed atmosphere. Selena Abdul Issa Chibalambala, an 11-year old from the Magude District of Mozambique, is an enthusiastic member.
Her teacher at EPC Movane Primary School, Augusto Salomao Mucocana, notices the impact the Club has made on Selena, “The change in only a few months has been very promising,” he says. “She seems like a different student now. Not only does she read and write a lot better, she also has a lot more confidence as well.”
“I got a 20/20 score from my last Portuguese test!” Selena adds.
Selena dreams of becoming an agronomist, like her father, and she knows that she can accomplish her goals with hard work. “It’s only a question of studying a lot,” she says.
Click here to learn more about the Food for Knowledge project and to get all the latest updates from Mozambique.