Literacy and development program for the province of Zambezia – p.142
This project is part of a development program for Mozambique, particularly intended for the districts of Morrumbala and Gilè, and for the Zonas Verdes in the province of Zambezia, a rural area of the country. The illiteracy rate in Mozambique reaches the 89 percent of the population and the related human poverty index, estimated in 2003, is fifty-two percent. The population density is very low, people often live in isolated huts inhabited by a single family unit. Women live in especially hard conditions, completely submitted to their husbands, their main role being procreation. Yet it is women who carry out most of the productive activities: working in the fields, fetching water and managing household chores. Nevertheless, women are excluded from the management of money, unless they possess their own land fit for cultivation. Moreover, polygamy is a very common practice in the District of Morrumbala which leads to an high birth rate. The Zona Verdes, due to its proximity to Maputo, the capital, is the area in the country most likely to develop economically: the presence of a market, in fact, favors the sale of agricultural products, although at the same time it implies a risk of HIV-AIDS infection. Young people and women living in urban contexts, where the virus is widespread, lack the necessary information and economic, social and cultural conditions needed to protect themselves. The selected areas have a potential to provide employment, livelihood and to promote the empowerment of women; more specifically, the project supports a literacy course for seven hundred boys and girls from families in economic difficulty or orphans living with foster families. In addition to the income-generating activities, families with members affected by AIDS are offered support and prevention education.