Caritas Australia is working with local communities in Mozambique to create sustainable education and work opportunities.
in 2013, Caritas Australia's Project Compassion campaign told the story of 12 year-old Ditosa, from Matuba in southern Mozambique, a place where many children have lost one or both parents to an AIDS-related illness.
Ditosa faced a challenging future with food scarcity, little education and few job prospects. Cared for by her grandmother and aunt, after her parents died of AIDS-related illnesses, they also lost their home and livelihoods in severe flooding.
Thanks to the support of Project Compassion, Caritas Australia and Caritas Regional Chokwe (CRC) helped Ditosa’s family to build a new house and helped her stay at school through providing assistance with transport fees, school fees and materials.
After school each day, Ditosa attended the Matuba Children’s Centre, which Caritas established in 2007. The centre provides vulnerable children, like Ditosa, with lunch, study help, computer skills and income-generating skills training in jewellery-making, sewing, raising chickens and growing vegetables.
This essential support has enabled Ditosa to embark on a positive journey of education. Ditosa has graduated from school and hopes to go to university.
“I love to learn and want to be a police woman,” Ditosa says.
“Education is important in my life but I know that university is expensive, so if I can’t go to the police academy I want to learn commercial science so that I can work in a bank.”
In recent years, the Matuba Children’s Centre has expanded its activities and it has been so successful at generating its own income that it only needs to access Caritas funds in an emergency such as the distribution of maize, beans and sweet potato seeds during droughts.
“The joy of Matuba Children’s Centre is that it is now sustainable without Caritas Australia’s financial support,” said Elvira Mabundi, the centre’s director.
“I never thought the day would come. Now we are thriving, with enough food from the seeds that were given to us and the rains this year have been good. But we don’t want to be forgotten. We are fighting to keep Matuba operating for the sake of the children who are so poor,” Ms Mabundi said.
Details: Project Compassion
Ditosa's Story (Caritas Australia)