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Mozambique volunteer experience

– by Rebecca Power

We are well over half way through our Mozambican experience, and I think after the initial culture shock we have all acclimatised well to our new surroundings here in Beira.

Our main project that we are working on at the moment is building three fish tanks in the Dondo “Agritech”, the Agricultural training campus of Young Africa. In laying the foundations for the walls of these fish tanks we are paving the way to providing the opportunity for students to learn about this area of agriculture/pisciculture. The physical work is incredibly rewarding as we can see instantaneous results.  After a hard day of manually mixing cement and concrete, the progress that is made is immense and it can be seen clearly.

We also spent time in the carpentry workshop making wooden benches, which will be used in the classrooms in the Beira campus. This was also very enjoyable, and a bit less physically demanding than the Dondo work, but just as important.

Some of us also had the chance to spend time in the English classes. Each class is two hours long and it was very interesting, as we are native English speakers we never had to deconstruct the language and use the technical terms to describe the language such as infinitive and affirmative positive. It was very interesting from that perspective and we hope that having native English speakers in the classes helped the students to learn and that our own teaching styles helped them too.

We are strengthening our solidarity part of the programme by spending time with the girls in the hostel and doing art projects with them. It is an important aspect of our programme to build relationships and learn from each other and we learn a lot about the girls through the art. It is also a lot of craic!!

We also strengthened our solidarity by hosting two sports days, the most recent of which was held in the Beira campus, and was in the form of a soccer tournament. Six local schools entered boys and girls teams into the tournament, and there were also many local children in attendance who enjoyed the other activities including face-painting and the bouncy castle, locally called a “pula pula”. All the kids really enjoyed the day and the winning teams were “25 de Septembro” boys team, and “Club de Sporto” girls team.  I think I can speak for everyone in expressing how much we are enjoying our experience here in Mozambique.

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