Supporting the Needs of Children and Teachers in Mozambique
"I didn't know floods could be like this."
Those are the words of 7-year-old Domingo from Chilembene community describing the floods that have disrupted the start of his school year. The floods have submerged schools, homes, and hospitals in the Chokwe district of Gaza Province.
As the flood-induced humanitarian crisis continues to take its toll on thousands of communities across the country, Plan International has stepped in to support government efforts through the provision of 10,000 learning kits.
The first kits were distributed to children at two primary schools in Chokwe, Gaza Province which suffered the most damage. Each kit contains 10 exercise books, pens, pencils, a ruler, an eraser, a geometry set, and a school bag. These supplies will last one term and will enable students to continue their studies.
From experience, Plan knows that schools provide an environment where children can feel safe and secure in the midst of an emergency. Having trained staff on hand allows Plan to identify and work with children who have experienced trauma in order to guide them through the recovery process.
“None of these children had complete materials. This kind of support goes a long way to assist them to get quality education as each child will now have a book for every subject,” says Teresa Manhique. Manhique, is the Director of the first primary school to receive the kits.
After the flood waters receded, Manhique’s school was in turmoil. Reading materials and desks had been lost and school had to be suspended for two weeks.
“I was using one exercise book for all subjects, but now I have many choices. This makes me feel really good about going to school,” says Elico, a second-grade student who received one of the kits.
Plan’s Learning Kits Live On
Plan’s learning kits also provide learning opportunities for future students. “We provide free text books to our pupils, these are supposed to be passed over to the younger ones as the older ones proceed to the next grade. But because many pupils don’t have bags and instead carry the books in their hands, they get damaged easily. The school bags will increase the longevity of the books providing an opportunity for other pupils to benefit,” says Gusmao Macamo, principle of another primary school that has received the kits.
Addressing Long-Term Needs
Replacing school materials that were lost in the flood is only a small part of Plan’s recovery plan. Plan is also working to ensure that long-term needs are being met.
Hundreds of teachers have suffered the loss or damage of property and personal possessions in the floods.
In addition to supporting 10,000 children with school kits, Plan is also providing support for 252 teachers in the form of psychosocial support and family kits.
Plan’s aim is to ensure that both children and their teachers have the resources they need to overcome their obstacles with dignity.