Despite impressive economic growth rates and development progress made by the government in recent years, poverty in Mozambique continues to be severe and widespread. More than 70 percent of poor households live in rural areas. Although farming is their main source of food and income, agricultural productivity is low. Farmers generally make enough to meet their households' basic food requirements, with a small surplus for sale in some cases. Incomes from small farming are meager and most of the rural population survives at subsistence level.
The PROSUL program in southern Mozambique, funded by the International Fund for Agricultural Development, began in 2016 and aims to establish improved livelihoods for poor, mainly small farmers in 19 selected districts of Maputo and Limpopo Corridors. The program’s objective is to achieve a sustainable increase in income for subsistence farmers by increasing volume and quality of production in selected value chains (horticulture, cassava and red meat), as well as improved market linkages, more efficient farmer organization and a higher economic share for farmers. Another component of PROSUL will include health education with messages about local diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria.
Through PROSUL, Project HOPE is also implementing the Community Based Financial Organizations (Village Savings and Loans (VSL) establishment, financial literacy education and bank linkages) in five districts of the Gaza Province. This VSL curriculum will include nutrition training.
Project HOPE's relationship with Mozambique first started in 1997 when HOPE implemented a child survival program focused on decreasing mortality and morbidity in children under the age of two and women of reproductive age in Zambezia Province. Project HOPE has since continued to implement various educational programs focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and care, as well as health service delivery support.
In 2004 Project HOPE began a program focused on reducing the risk of contracting HIV/AIDS in adolescents and young adults. The project used HIV/AIDS prevention messages with an emphasis on abstinence and remaining monogamous to reach vulnerable and at-risk youth.
Expanding on a previous project to enable health personnel at the district and provincial level to adequately assess the impact of crisis situations, HOPE began a program in 2005 to improve the quality of health services for women and children in six districts of the Gaza Province. Working with the Save the Children Federation the project sought to increase access to, demand for and use of quality maternal and child care and select reproductive services.
More recently, Project HOPE implemented an orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) program to strengthen the coping capabilities of families and communities caring for them. The program addressed the increased economic needs of an OVC household by providing economic strengthening opportunities, micro-credit loans or savings groups, along with health and parenting education.
Dr. Jamison quickly switched gears from his health care training mission to save the life of the baby
Juliazarda had heard about a women's savings group in her community of Maxixe, which was formed by the Project HOPE sub-grantee Kukula. The group welcomed Juliazarda, and through them she was able to access small loans to start up a business trading second-hand clothing and bedding.
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