By Silvia Rivas, Poverty Activist Team February 2023
WELCOME TO MOZAMBIQUE!
We can say that we are now in the home stretch, before leaving for our destination. Getting to this point has been quite a process.
When the day came that we received the job descriptions, we had the choice between a country in Africa or India, but the choice was not only based on the country, but also on the mission and vision that the projects were developing with the communities, and the tasks in which you could collaborate.
I remember when I read the 6 projects, and two of them resonated with me in a special and different way, instantly. That happened because of how my personal and professional experience has been developing over the last few years.
To choose the project we delved into the information we had and in my case I created a SWOT to be able to reflect, analyse and decide which project I wanted to be part of.
I decided on Mozambique, with the ISET project at the ONE - WORLD institute of education and technology. A project where we will be able to be part of the community of Changalane and the university, developing activities of education, work, art, sports?
But to be able to teach and above all to learn within the projects that are being developed in Mozambique, it is important to understand and be able to express yourself in the native language of the place. Although we now know that 22 languages are spoken in Mozambique, the official language of the country is Portuguese, so we have been there for 2 months, since we decided on the project we have focused on learning the language.
We had our first contact with the project managers in Mozambique. A meeting in which we had the opportunity to begin to clarify doubts, which were arising and have given us the opportunity to start developing activities for the community or new clubs at the university. The first contact has given us a lot of energy to start creating these new activities. In the following meetings we will start to go more in depth about the subjects taught at the university and how we are going to generate support for students and teachers.
On the other hand, and not less important, is the physical preparation, as we are not used to walk 8 km daily, and that is the distance that will separate us from the house to the community. So, since a few weeks ago, we have started a daily action plan for our physical preparation.
One of the challenges of preparing to go to Mozambique is the Visa issue. It is not a simple process, as we have had to apply for the criminal record in our home country, where we have the option to apply online, the complication came when we needed to have it approved by both the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It is a long process where uncertainty plays against us, as the simple process of stamping the document has taken around 1 month, until we received the letter back. And now we are going to start the process to get our visa.
With just over a month to go before we have to catch the plane to Mozambique, we are counting down the days, which is helping us to stay motivated and not to lose sight of our goal.