SEATTLE — After political strife in Mozambique ended in 1992, the country began to see a significant increase in economic growth. While political stability provides pockets of opportunity, much of the country is still impacted by poverty. However, with the support of CARE International programs in Mozambique, the country is addressing many of the issues it faces.
CARE International is a nonprofit organization that focuses on implementing hope, tolerance and social justice while overcoming poverty to allow people to live with dignity and security. CARE began operation in Mozambique in 1984 to provide emergency assistance and food distribution for those affected by the conflict between the government and rebel forces.
While the nation’s rivalry ended in 1992, CARE International programs in Mozambique did not cease but rather molded to fit the new needs faced by the people of the country. Today, more than 80 percent of the population is living on less than $2 a day and 60 percent remain in severe poverty. Among those affected, women-headed households, as well as young girls, are disproportionately impacted.
To address these issues, CARE created a six-year strategy that began in 2014 to empower women and children to exercise their rights. These groups in Mozambique are among the most vulnerable to shocks and marginalization. CARE International programs in Mozambique include PROSAN, Oreriha Pilot Project and COVida.
PROSAN maintains a focus on strengthening women’s capacity to control productive assets and income independently. The program, which is also supported by Irish Aid, is expected to reach 28,875 participants, of which 80 percent will be women. The program educates women to help them take part in economic opportunities and cope with setbacks that affect their livelihoods.
- Oreriha Pilot Project
Oreriha is a program partially funded by FSDMoç and UKAid that focuses on women’s economic empowerment. This initiative improves access to affordable financial services for poor and disadvantaged people in the Nampula Province, particularly women.
While COVida does not directly aim to empower women, the program strives to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in more than 50 districts in Mozambique. According to the CIA, disease is one of the main causes of poverty in the country. Mozambique is among the top 10 countries most affected by HIV/AIDS and, as a result, maintains one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. More than half a million children were orphaned in 2006 because of HIV/AIDS. Funded by USAID/PEPFAR, COVida works across Mozambique to provides support services to families impacted by the pandemic. To reduce the future impact of the disease, COVida enables access to health services and targets orphans and vulnerable children affected by the spread of the disease. COVida provides home visits for support and encourages economic empowerment through access to savings groups.
While CARE International supports multiple other initiatives in Mozambique, these are three projects that focus on providing woman and children the tools necessary to progress in society and pull themselves out of poverty.
– Tess Hinteregger