LDCN’s main project, The Tiri Pabodsi Project, is located in the community of Nguiniea, Nhamatanda district, Sofala Province, Mozambique. Like the rest of Mozambique, the vast majority of the community members of Nguineia are subsistence farmers, and, like the rest of Mozambique, despite living in a tropical region with fertile land and rich in natural resources, these subsistence farmers are increasingly unable to meet the basic needs of their families. Among the causes contributing to this problem are an increasingly outdated and unproductive agriculture system, a lack of access to education, basic infrastructure, and markets, and finally growing environmental degradation. As a result of this situation, LDCN and the local community of Nguineia have come together to design and implement a variety of programs to respond to some of these “root problems” and to stimulate a positive shift in local quality of life.
Access to Early Education
Early education is the foundation for children to develop the cognitive and problem solving skills necessary to be successful later in life. In order to improve access to early education in the community of Nguineia, Mozambique,
LDCN and the community are working together to build a Primary School for the more than 350 children who have little to no access to formal schooling. Currently, these children have to walk more than five miles to and from the closest school, making it extremely difficult for the children to attend school, and those who do attend are often too tired to pay attention in class. Recognizing the importance of primary school education and the hardships local children face in attending school, the community of Nguineia and its leaders expressed their desire to build a local school.
Building off our principle of participatory development, LDCN hosted several community meetings to discuss how we could make building a local school a reality. The outcome was a social contract between LDCN and the community resulting in the construction of a three room primary school. As part of this contract, the community agreed to form an Education Committee, collect available local materials for construction, and help with the basic labor; in return, LDCN would buy non locally available tools and materials, provide a nutritious meal for community volunteers, and pay for skilled labor. To date LDCN and the local community have been able to complete the foundation for the school, and, barring any major setback, we plan to finish the school by the end of 2014.
2014 Fundraising Goal: $10,000
Access to Clean Water:
Waterborne diseases are one of the leading causes of infant mortality and death in Africa. Addressing the need of providing clean water is fundamental in improving quality of life and fostering development. This is especially true in Mozambique which has one of the lowest percentages of access to clean water and sanitation in the world. Through LDCN’s continued effort to expand its network and knowledge base, LDCN learned of a manual borehole drilling technique. In 2013, LDCN was able to test this technique in order to evaluate its viability. Over the course of a three day trial, the drill team was able to drill to a depth of 13.5 meters where they accessed a sandy soil indicating a confined underground aquifer thus demonstrating the feasibility of manually drilling boreholes in Nguineia.
Looking to 2014 and beyond, LDCN is hoping to expand access to this technology through an access to water program. The goal of this program would be first, to demonstrate this technology to the larger community, second, train local people on this manual drilling technique, and finally provide the tools and materials to drill five boreholes in key locations throughout the community.
2014 Fundraising Goal: $10,000
The vast majority of rural Mozambicans continue to earn their livelihood from subsistence agriculture but due to environmental, political and social factors it is becoming increasingly difficult for farmers to provide for the needs of their families. A pillar of LDCN’s development work in Nguineia, Mozambique, is to continue to demonstrate sustainable and ecological living and agriculture practices to the community. In order to do this, we are continual improving on and expanding our demonstration fields and looking to provide opportunities for local people to learn from and work on these demonstrations fields. Looking to the future, LDCN would like to improve our drip irrigation system, continue diversifying our tree nursery and food forest, and start a more consistent animal production (chickens).
2014 Fundraising Goal: $2,500 +
Expanding LDCN’s Network of Support by helping other local initiatives:
In addition to LDCN’s key projects, we are always looking to support and collaborate with other worthwhile locally run development initiatives. The future of development is finding creative ways for different organizations and projects to collaborate and work together for a common goal. Currently, LDCN is working with 4 other community development initiatives to help them look for potential funding, help with the organization and administration of the project, provide volunteers, and look for capacity building opportunities. These four initiatives are:
- Mexiquiri Womens Group: Former LDCN volunteer Chiara Corbetta help start this women’s group, who are now in their third year of working together to plant a cooperative vegetable garden. The produce goes to helping support each woman’s family nutrition and economy.
- Casa dos Sonhos (The Dreaming House): Founded by Mozambican Marcos Antonio and American Sarah Hebert-Johnson, Casa dos Sonhos is an international company of professional artists who perform pieces about relevant social issues in their community and use applied theatre techniques to help people find solutions to their problems.
- Centro Comunitario Carinhosa Aissa: Run by a local Mozambican woman, Aissa, CCCA is a local orphanage and community center located in Lamego, Mozambique. LDCN founder and executive director Zachary Lager has been working with CCCA since he first arrived in Mozambique 5 years ago.
- Associacao Santa Isabel: A local vegetable cooperative in Metuchira, Mozambique, Associacao Santa Isabel has more than 30 members and 20 hectares of land along the Metuchira River. In addition to improving their production through improved agriculture techniques and irrigation schemes, they are also hoping to improve access to larger markets to sell their produce.