Prepared by Rozalia Toth, Lukas Nosalek and Ivan Kollar (Sept. 2012 team)
Sept. 2013 – Febr. 2014
Our project is 2200 kms far from the capital city, Maputo. Nacala-Porto is situated next to one of the Indian-Ocean’s bays which is considered to be the second deepest bay in the world. Due to this characteristic Nacala-Porto is an important cargo harbor in Mozambique. The natural landscape is beautiful. In September, when we arrived, the bay was full of humpback whales and we could enjoy watching them jumping out from the water. Our living conditions are better than we expected. We have running water, electricity (often just candles), housekeeper, guards, 2 dogs (soon maybe 8 together with the kids expected to be born within the next days) and a nice view for the bay. The beach is 1 minute.
The vocational school is located next to Nacala-Porto, in a nice village called Muzuane. To reach the school and our new home, you have to drive or walk 3 kms through the village after having turned down from the main road. The village is a typical African village with a small market, hugs or simples brick houses, cashew- and mango trees, palm trees and many children. There is one primary school, two ADPP pre-schools and in the end of the village there are the Teacher Training College and our Vocational School.
The idea behind establishing the Vocational Schools is based under the following objectives:
• Training young people in different courses, such as Construction, Hostelry and Tourism, and Sustainable Agriculture.
• Giving skills to the graduates, to create their own jobs opportunities.
• Training young people in a way that they can participate in the development of their country, using proper techniques of production.
• Training young people to manage their time in a more profitable making them ready to work and develop rural areas.
In the Sustainable Agriculture course the participants are being trained with the principle of sustainable agriculture production. Theory and practice go hand in hands. The participants, further more, learn how to pass their knowledge to small scale farmers in the community. Also they have the responsibility of the school vegetable garden and to train the primary school students (6 and 7 grades) in producing vegetables. That is a 3 years course.
In the Civil Construction course the participants are trained to construct a house from the bottom to the top, including water and electricity installations. They learn trade theory connected to construction of different building techniques, how to read a drawing etc. The participants are also trained in basic economy, how to make a budget, stock control, purchases and calculation of materials etc. The students are responsible for the school maintenance contributing in this way to the school economy. That is a 2 years course.
In the Hostelry and tourism course the participants are trained to deal with many areas of the Hotels. They learn how to serve mails, client attendance and the room service in a standard mode. Their training prepares them also on how to make accounts on a Hotel, how to deal with tourists and how to communicate English.
The students are responsible of the tourism program that the school runs. They attended 100% the groups of tourists that come to spend their holiday in a constructive way through the muzuanexperience program. That is a 3 years course.
The school is a boarding school, so the students are trained in all areas connected to the every day life and running of the school so that they take the full responsibility of the school. This is quite important in order to train the students on how to be responsible people in their future work place.
The running of the school consists in:
• Serving meals and cleanings
• Maintaining the school garden and outside areas.
• Health and welfare at the school.
• Maintaining and taking care of the school education materials, equipment, furniture and other values.
To be part of this community we received three DI positions:
1. “IT and Data Processing Instructor” position taken by Ivan
As far I have three main responsibilities :
Taking care of the school’s computers.
They have about 35 computers, partly in the computer room (for the students <that’s why these ones are in the worst condition >), partly in the teachers’ office and some for the management of the school.
I have to look after these computers, repairing the hardware, settings the user rights, reinstalling etc.…
Teaching David (who is the youngest teacher <see photo above>), who will take over my job when I will not be here anymore. Training him to become a system administrator of the computers, teaching him how he can find the hardware problems, kill the viruses, cockroaches, update the missing drivers, keep the students away from the computers… . We have been working together for 2 weeks now and we have a pretty good relationship (consider my personality).
The third job is developing three programs for the school. The first one is The Preschool system (for the ADPP schools) which has already been ready. The platform is Visual Studio 2012, the programming language is c# – .net 4.5.
I use the Devexpress 126.96.36.199 for the GUI (Graphical User Interface) which has a beautiful impact on the client side.
The database is running on the school’s Windows 7 (!) server. It is an MS- SQL 2008 Express service with Windows Authentication mode. The program must be able to collect the data from the end-users, evaluate the preschools performance, keep the data in a time-table and it can paint 2 and 3 dimension graphs to show differences between the schools and the subjects.
I am very satisfied with our living conditions and the school management. We have a housekeeper lady who is cleaning the house every day, washing our clothes, underwear. We are just about 100 meters off the beach. Today we were on a lobster hunting tour with our snorkeling equipment but we couldn’t catch any lobster because partly of the high tide and the high wind which made the water blurry. But the biggest problem with the lobsters is that they hide away in the cliffs under the water and you can see only theirs long moustaches drifting left and right. I tried to grab one of moustaches but it broke! Our friend, an Italian guy told me to try to grab the body of the lobster instead of the moustache next time. Tomorrow we’ll try it again!
At the end my only problem is the hot weather. If there is no wind I cannot sleep at night and I am prowling around the house with the dogs in the darkness.
The V.C (Vocational School) has recently upgraded its educational curriculum in all courses. It’s my job, so as the main activity to prepare several movies about different courses and promote the school in most efficient way. In order to complete my task I have decide to create a YouTube account so as the new Facebook page for V.S Nacala. Both of these are ready and published. To make all as efficient as possible I have also decided to create a several movies that would be possible to watch straight on the Internet, all related to ADPP Nacala as the news feeds.
There is one disadvantage related to my work as we are in Africa, and that would be the internet connection. The videos have a nice resolution the problem they are large sized witch will not allow us to post as many as we would like to, due to internet data limitations.
My day starts as related to the film material I need to collect. The material can contain basically any subject. The most important is that, it has to be funny for our online viewers with some original Ideas included.
At this point I am preparing movie about the preschools, and that’s why I join Rozalia on her rounds around the pre-schools. There are 8 pre-schools. During this period, we usually leave around 7:00 a.m. and reach the school around 8:00. And we stay together with our small fellows until 11:00 because that’s when the pre-schools finish. While Rozalia is working I am filming with passion and getting all the possible material to create a movie. During the last 6 weeks here I have managed to collect a lot of material which I can edit during December and January, since there will be a summer holydays for the students.
The next activities I have decided to take are the computer classes. In order to bring a bigger knowledge to the students about understanding how computer works. I am trying to keep the students occupied every evening starting from Monday to Friday. During these classes students have the opportunity to learn about the computer hardware, software, basic maintenance and Microsoft office what so ever. The students are really helpful even due to my low level of Portuguese knowledge and I have to say I really enjoy these evening classes together with them.
Along my project:
Along with my project I have made a contact with people from our local village ,,Muzuane,,. Especially with one teacher of small pre-school located in the local community. This school is not anyhow connected to Humana People to People. As trough my first visit I knew that the teacher is doing a great job, the only problem is the lack of material for the children. As time went passed I have been paying a visit more and more often and decided to create a fund-rising for several students and the school itself via Facebook. It’s also possible to view this page on any Facebook account searched as,, Interactive Development,, Through this page I am searching for a donations, and at the same time hope I could reach an amount that could have at least small impact on the development of the school and the local community. Of course nothing is for free and that’s why I am offering to all sponsors many different benefits. For more Information you can search on Facebook as: Interactive Development. I am trying to keep my creativity and concentration in correct balance.
As Ivan has already mentioned we are really satisfied with our living conditions. We have almost all necessary needs. The staff is being really helpful to us and so as the project leader. We have the possibility to buy many different vegetables and fruits in the local market especially the mango that has an excellent taste. The beach next to our house, its 1 minute away on foot and we keep ourselves occupied and cooled there during our free time. As a local transport we use the foot or sometimes ,,chapa,, – that is a minibus. The normal capacity of ,,chapa,, would be around 10 passengers, but almost all the time we are traveling in number of 20 passengers and that is sometimes real fun… In conclusion, I think I can speak for all of us; we are enjoying our project and doing a good job as we think. We hope it can bring some small change and a peace of development.
Greetings to you all
3. “Pre-school Instructor and tourist promoter” position taken by Rozalia
Vocational School is also responsible for 8 pre-schools. My main activity is to work together with the pre-schools. I wake up and leave home in time because the pre-schools start to work at 8 o’ clock and some of them are far (it takes 1-1,5 hours to reach them). In the village there is no transport, so I walk through the village every morning which takes about 40 minutes. In the early time there is already big life, the people clean their house and its environ, carry water on their head to the houses. The children usually run to me and shout “tata-tata” (it means “hello” in the local language which is emakua). Some of them who are in the pre-schools they already say also my name. Unfortunately there are still a lot of children out the school, just spending the time in the street. In one family the number of the children is very high: 5-10, but I know a man who was proud of having 15 children, but from 2 wives, it’s true. Most of the families are Muslim due to the heritage of the Arabic traders, so the men can have several wives.
The pre-schools are run by volunteers that have a great will to teach important skills to the children before entering the elementary school. The most needed skill is the ability to understand and speak Portuguese language as the children speak local language at home.
ADPP is concentrating on improving the education level by using didactical method in the pre-schools. It means that instead of the traditional “repeating” system, the education method is added with games, singing, dancing, interesting tasks and whatever which can stimulate the children learning and staying in the school. The ADPP has already a manual prepared by a previous DI and most of the teachers have already had training about the didactical method. As the pre-schools work only until the first week of November, we agreed with our project leader, Gianpaolo De Notaris, that I will focus on the evaluation of the system in order to have an overview how the pre-schools are working. I collect data based on an indicator system which measure the knowledge of the children and give an overview about the quality of the education in the schools. Every day I visit one of the pre-schools and with the help of the teachers I ask the children about different topics: alphabet, numbers, songs, games, drawings and other issues determined in the evaluation system. Not to be a serious white zombie who just come and put a lot of questions to the children I am preparing myself with interesting questions, tasks and games. With the collected result we would like to evaluate the actual situation and status of the didactical method and where it is necessary we will continue to improve the education with training and change of experiences among the teachers.
As Lukas has to make movie about every pre-schools, I help him with having useful “materials” for example by making interview with the teachers.
To participate also in the life of the vocational school, I organized English lessons for the hotel-tourism classes. As they need to speak English with costumers and guests during their practical part and future work (in a hotel or restaurant), the English is important for them. I focus on speaking, speaking….
I have also English lesson for the teachers of the pre-schools. In return the teachers help me to learn as fast as possible the Portuguese which is important for me to do my DI activities. To speak Portuguese was the most difficult part to start my DI work here. When I arrived I could speak just some sentences to present myself and now I’m making interview with the teachers. I study and practice the Portuguese every day to improve my knowledge because my plan is to organize other seminars in the vocational school.
This is our first 6 weeks here in Nacala and in this beautiful country that we like very much.
Greetings to Everybody in Hornsjo and our message to the new Adventurers that don’t give up, you can have a very nice part of your life during the project.
We are very satisfied and happy to be here!
Nacala, November of 2013.