Canadian UNICEF Committee in Mozambique
Maputo, 2 May 2005 – In order to learn more about UNICEF supported activities for children in a programme country, volunteers and staff of the Canadian National Committee for UNICEF came to Mozambique for a 10-days-visit. “We confronted huge needs in the communities – be they child survival issues, educational priorities or the horrendous effects of HIV/AIDS – and it became increasingly evident that UNICEF’s integrated approach is essential,” that’s how Laura Ludwin, the former chair of the Board of the Committee, summarized the impressions of the group.
The group consisted of seven volunteers and three staff members. During their stay from 18 April to 1 May 2005 the group saw programmes related to the three priorities of the Cooperation Programme between UNICEF and the Government of Mozambique – child survival, basic education and the fight against HIV/AIDS.
An important part of the visit was dedicated to the learning opportunities of children. The group visited several schools, where children are provided with school bags and learning material, and where UNICEF supports the improvement of the infrastructure by providing access to safe water and sanitation facilities. The installation of separate latrines has proven to be a crucial intervention to keep girls in school.
Another focus of the programme was the fight against HIV/AIDS. The group saw programmes to prevent the transmission of the virus from the mother to her child, as well as a youth-friendly health service and a radio programme both promoting HIV/AIDS prevention among young people. They also visited several community based organizations which are supporting children orphaned or made vulnerable by HIV/AIDS, such as ASVIMO in Dondo and Khulupira in Nhamatanda. Both organizations are supported by UNICEF. ASVIMO is providing vocational training to orphaned and vulnerable children, among other activities. Khulupira provides home based care to families taking care of orphaned children, including households headed by children.
“UNICEF’s support has enabled many ideas to flourish to a level where they can be expanded to a regional, provincial or national scale with the support of larger government donors or other UN agencies,” Ms. Ludwin said. UNICEF Canada volunteers and staff will return home and mobilize the public by sharing the stories of the past ten days.” The Committee is planning a major fundraising and advocacy campaign on “Children and AIDS”.
The Canadian Committee for UNICEF through the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) recently already contributed almost 1 million USD to the UNICEF HIV/AIDS programme in Mozambique.