Child Grant programme helps single mother take care of her child in Nampula

The child grant (0-2 years) programme in Mozambique is supported by UNICEF and financed by the governments of Sweden, Netherlands, and United Kingdom.

Eleanor Hill
Em Moçambique, o programa de subsidio para criança conta com o apoio da Suécia, Holanda, Reino Unido, e o UNICEF.
UNICEF/2021/Eleanor Hill
20 January 2022

Lalaua, Nampula - “He gave my child a name by text message (SMS), but my child doesn’t know his father,” said 23 years old Noémia Manuel visible sad while holding her son Américo close. “I live alone, I am divorced, when I was pregnant my husband found work in Nacala and never came back. He was told his child was born but he has never come back to see his son”.

Noémia suffered a lot after giving birth to Américo and as single mother she struggled to buy enough food as the father does not provide for the child or send any money.

Noémia who lives in Nicquosse in Lalaua District, explains that before she enrolled in the child grant programme, she lived with her mother in the house next door. She heard about the child grant from the National Institute of Social Action (INAS) Permanente. With the cash she received from the child grant, she managed to save up 3,000 meticais to build her own house and kitchen. “Now I have my own space, I feel better and more independent”.

The start-up phase of the child grant (0-2 years) programme in Mozambique is implemented by the Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Action (MGCAS), through its operational arm, the National Institute of Social Assistance (INAS), with technical support from the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), financed by the governments of Sweden, Netherlands, and United Kingdom. The start-up phase was initiated in September 2018 in four districts in Nampula, one of the poorest provinces in Mozambique. The start-up phase was finalized in December 2021, when all 15,345 children and their caregivers will have received 24 months of payments, and graduate from the programme. Based on the positive outcomes of the pilot phase of the programme, the Government of Mozambique is currently preparing for its expansion to reach more children and families.

Her mother helps a lot by taking care of Américo when Noémia needs to go to work on the machamba (small family farm) or to collect water. Noémia cultivates maize and mandioca and with the money she receives from the child grant she can buy food and clothes for Américo. “I hope that one day I will marry again and have a family,” says Noémia hopeful.