Celebrating Our Story
Celebrating Our Story
Foreword by the Minister of Education and Human Development, Carmelita Namashulua Dear Distinguished Partners and Friends of Mozambique, It is an honor for me, as the Minister of Education and Human Development, to present this book with stories and pictures from Planet Aid’s Food for Knowledge (FFK) project, implemented in Maputo Province from 2012 to 2020. This book portrays the project’s extraordinary partnership with our government, communities, and schools in their work to improve the health and education of our children. As the project comes to an end, I share this book with you not only to praise FFK’s outcomes, but also as a story of collaboration, integrated programming, and capacity building to be remembered and replicated in our continuous work for the pupils and communities in Mozambique.
Carmelita Namashulua Minister of Education and Human Development, Mozambique
I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) for its support through its renowned McGovern-Dole International Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program over the past eight years, and to acknowledge the greater efforts and commitment of Planet Aid and its local partner, ADPP Mozambique, for having worked alongside our government and communities in the implementation of an effective response to the needs of our children. The FFK project is highly recognized at community, school, and local and national authority levels for its comprehensive model of school feeding and its emphasis on local capacity building and community mobilization for the success of the project. The project’s collaboration with the Ministry of Education and Human Development has achieved significant outcomes not only in school feeding but also in the improvement of nutritional education, health and hygiene, local food production, literacy, and teacher training – cumulatively resulting in the increase of primary school enrollment, reduction of pupil dropouts, and better pedagogical performance. Notably, in order to strengthen literacy, our partnership has brought new tools for the development of teaching and learning methodologies in local languages, adjusting it to teachers’ and pupils’ context -2-
and culture. The model is now being replicated in other districts and provinces as part of our National Expansion Plan of Bilingual Education. We are equally grateful to USDA and FFK for supporting the operation and the development of the National Teacher Training Program from ADPP, which has enabled the training, graduation, and employment of thousands of new teachers. As a nationally accredited program, these graduates have helped reduce the lack of teachers in Mozambique. The quality of the training will have a positive impact on pupils’ education in primary schools and future generations. Overall, the Food for Knowledge project leaves behind a valuable experience in the comprehensive management of school feeding. Based on the FFK experience, our government keeps its commitment to continuing the expansion and ensuring the sustainability of our National School Feeding program within the scope of PRONAE, as outlined and recently adopted in the Strategic Education Plan 2020-2029. On behalf of the Government of Mozambique and myself, I sincerely thank all those who have made this project a success. My thanks also go to USDA, Planet Aid, ADPP and their partners, WISHH and Cambridge Education, and the national and international partners that have given valuable support throughout the implementation of the project. Last but not least, my special thanks go to school managers, teachers, pupils, and communities that have contributed to the success of the project. For an inclusive, patriotic, and quality education!
Carmelita Namashulua Minister of Education and Human Development
Message from Planet Aid Dear Food for Knowledge (FFK) Partners and Participants, This publication celebrates the Food for Knowledge project as it comes to a close after eight productive and inspiring years of implementation. The heart and soul of the project has been the schools, communities, teachers and students who participated on a daily basis learning new skills, taking on new responsibilities, and contributing their time and energy to surpass the project’s ambitious goals. The project would not have been possible without this active commitment, eagerness to learn and local ownership. Planet Aid is enormously grateful for the significant financial support from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). We recognize the value of this partnership, which includes the active participation from the Government of Mozambique at all levels and our school feeding partners that we have worked with over the past eight years.
Director of International Partnerships, Planet Aid
A huge applause to ADPP, our implementing partner, for taking the lead in implementing the FFK project on the ground, making available its extensive infrastructure, strong government relationships, and nearly 40 years of deep understanding and compassion for what it takes to build local capacity and mobilize communities to organize and take action. While the project has come to an end, it stands out as a strong model for what true collaboration across continents can achieve when we work shoulder-to-shoulder to improve the basic human conditions in health and education. Implemented over two consecutive USDA McGovern-Dole Food for Education grants (2012-2015 and 2016-2020), the project brought together American farmers to contribute their harvest to feed children in Mozambique’s schools. Planet Aid partners Cambridge Education and the American Soy Bean Association’s WISHH program brought cutting edge methodologies to the project’s literacy and nutrition components. And FFK’s close collaboration with the Government of Mozambique along with its major school feeding partners such as WFP and World Vision set the stage for a truly national school feeding program. -4-
We are grateful for the support and active participation of the Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH) from the very beginning, most notably of Dr. Arlinda Chaquisse, whose leadership helped ensure the engagement of national, provincial and district officials throughout the project implementation. ADPP’s nationwide flagship teacher training program added a whole new dimension to the FFK project, ensuring the long-term employment of committed and qualified primary school teachers for Mozambique’s rural areas. The FFK project closes amid a global pandemic and unprecedented challenges of climate change, poverty, as well as limited access to quality education and healthcare. Within this context, the FFK project has demonstrated that even in difficult times, the collective efforts of individuals, communities and governments can create positive and meaningful change in the world. Building on the achievements made together, we know that the FFK spirit will continue to thrive through the schools and communities, among teachers and students, with the participation of Mozambican government to continue to improve learning outcomes, local food production and a better school environment for all. Although the project has come to a close, the capacity built and the experience gained by everyone involved has formed a strong foundation for local action and ownership. Planet Aid is privileged to have been part of this development journey, together with all of you. Viva Food for Knowledge! On behalf of Planet Aid,
Marie Lichtenberg Director of International Partnerships, Planet Aid -5-
Message from the Project Coordinator On behalf of ADPP Mozambique, I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and to Planet Aid, the main recipient of funding through the McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition Program, for the opportunity to implement the Food for Knowledge (FFK) project. At the beginning of the project, in 2013, a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed with the Ministry of Education and Human Development. This MOU has guided the implementation of the FFK project in Maputo Province as well as at the ADPP teacher training colleges, nationwide.
Project Coordinator, Food for Knowledge
The four districts in Maputo Province were selected for high rates of food insecurity and malnutrition. Following years of drought in the region, FFK worked through its integrated components, emphasizing school feeding (nutrition) and access to water and sanitation to counteract increasing school dropout rates. In contrast, project districts experienced a significant increase in enrollments over the course of the project, from 69,000 to 90,278. There were challenges in the first phase as we learned to effectively implement activities in often remote schools. The support of the government was instrumental in overcoming these initial challenges as we learned to effectively implement activities in often remote schools. Through collaboration and hard work, FFK was able to establish the infrastructure needed for a successful school feeding program. The foundation of the school feeding program was already in place when the second phase of the project began in 2015, providing a daily meal of enriched corn-soy porridge to students. Building on this, the project expanded to new areas including the introduction of bilingual education and the establishment of eight large school gardens. Through the support of local communities, local leaders and the district governments, these activities helped the project become a known and trusted partner in Maputo Province. In the second phase, I also witnessed a tremendous increase in local ownership of the project. Communities and leaders actively provided support to school leadership and participated in decision making. This shift -6-
happily transitioned the FFK team to the role of project coordination, guiding a self-motivated project and producing impressive results, as reflected in the external FFK project evaluations. I want to take this opportunity to thank our colleagues at the Ministry of Education and Human Development, the Provincial Directorates of Education and Human Development, and the District Services for Education, Youth and Technology for their joint monitoring of the project, a mechanism that permitted a collaborative partnership and that allowed the project to better support its beneficiaries. At the close of a project that we believe changed the lives of Mozambican children and communities, I know that the results we have built and the impacts we have achieved together through FFK will continue as the Government, communities, schools and school feeding partners join in continued support for communities and schools. I would like to give special thanks to the entire project team, the children from all 271 schools and the school councils, school managers, volunteers, water and school feeding committees, and school production associations, our implementing partners, and the Government of the Republic of Mozambique for all the support we have received. Thank you to Planet Aid for our close collaboration in monitoring the quality of implementation and ensuring that our targets were met. Finally, I want to extend my thanks to the Government of the United States of America and the USDA, which made everything possible. Best regards,
Isaías Wate Project Coordinator, Food for Knowledge -7-
The Food for Knowledge Project The Planet Aid McGovern-Dole Food for Knowledge (FFK) project was implemented from 2012 – 2020 by ADPP Mozambique in partnership with the Government of Mozambique, school feeding partners, communities, teachers and students. The project addressed the interrelated challenges of health, well-being and education of schoolchildren in Maputo Province through a comprehensive program that combined school feeding with nutritional education, bilingual literacy, on-site food production, construction, water and sanitation, and teacher training.
FFK far exceeded its initial goals in both the number of students it benefited and the reach of project activities. The project’s contributions were impressive – FFK produced positive outcomes in student health and school performance, developed a replicable model for bilingual education, strengthened community health and nutritional practices, and supported progress towards a national school feeding program. By the project’s end, FFK was benefiting over 90,000 primary-age schoolchildren at 271 schools in the districts of Manhiça, Matutuine, Moamba and Magude in Maputo Province, and had supported the training of over 13,000 new teachers nationwide.
Location of the Food for Knowledge Project
School Feeding – Providing a Daily Meal for Students Children learn better when they are well-nourished. For that reason, school feeding was central to FFK and served as the basis for the project’s other interventions. By providing a daily meal to all students, the project promoted student health and nutrition with the aim to improve student attendance and, by reducing short-term hunger, the ability of each student to learn and receive a better education.
From 2012 to 2020, the project provided over 76 million meals to school students. Project outcomes showed decreased short-term hunger among students and an increase in student attentiveness. By the project’s end, schools reported a significant reduction in school dropouts.
Parent – Moamba Alice Ntila, resident of Moamba district in Maputo Province, is a mother of three children that have benefited from the school feeding program under the Food for Knowledge project at Mubobo Primary School. She doesn’t hide her appreciation for the difference that school meals have made in the education of her children and their nutritional development. “I am very happy that the children have always had an incentive to go to school. The meals also helped a lot to minimize my personal expenses because the children didn’t ask for food when they returned home – they were still full from the food they ate at school. Academically, I saw my children motivated to study. They even participated in competitions to write essays or complete multiplication tables and to see who received the highest test scores. This was undoubtedly due to the motivations provided by the Food for Knowledge project, not only through the meals but also the extra-curricular clubs in which my children participated. Today, one of them is in eighth grade at the local secondary school and three continue to benefit from the school meals, even in the middle of the pandemic. “I know this is the last year of the project. On behalf of all the mothers in the village of Moamba, I want to thank everyone who made this support possible, including the teachers and FFK partners. Thank you so much.”
“I am very happy that the children have always had an incentive to go to school.” -13-
“The introduction of school meals made my children enjoy school.”
Parent – Matutuine Elina Eduardo, a mother of three children that attend the Escola Primária Completa da Pedreira in the district of Matutuine, spoke of how the project transformed her children’s lives. “The school feeding program was a huge relief for me because it had been a struggle to feed my children and I wasn’t seeing them develop as they should. They were very thin and weren’t happy. They were particularly sad when sent to school because they were often hungry in class and weren’t motivated to follow the lessons. Their school performance was poor, and they only ate when they returned home, sometimes only after I returned from the field. “But with the project, I was able to work knowing that I would return to find them with full stomaches. The introduction of school meals made my children enjoy school. Today when you look at them you see that they are nourished and healthy, thanks to the corn-soy porridge. The oldest is now in seventh grade and, if all goes well, will go to secondary school next year. He dreams of becoming a civil engineer. “As a school worker and volunteer, I am honored that my children have benefited from the meals, books and teaching materials provided by the project. Knowing that this stage of the project is over, I am committed to helping with the food production in the school garden so that the children who attend school here do not give up for lack of incentive. We will feed our children. Thank you very much.” -14-
Schools and community volunteers helped to store, prepare and distribute the daily meals.
As part of school feeding activities, the project built, equipped and maintained kitchens, warehouses and wood-saving stoves at the project schools to provide safe and hygienic conditions to prepare food donated by USDA (Corn Soy Blend Plus, CSB+, a mixture of corn and soy flour fortified with essential vitamins and minerals). The solid structures will continue to support food preparation at the schools for years to come. -15-
FFK worked with schools and community volunteers to store and prepare food and to maintain school feeding infrastructure. Volunteer cooks – often parents from communities surrounding the schools – received training in the safe preparation of nutritious meals and were instrumental in preparing and serving daily meals for students.
“Children participating in the program at FFK schools showed a higher ability to recognize letter sounds, greater reading comprehension, and outperformed the control group in reading individual words by nearly 250 percent.”
Literacy – Improving Reading and Writing Through Bilingual Education Beginning in 2017, FFK launched a bilingual literacy program in 128 schools, founded on the idea that children learn better in their native language. In collaboration with Cambridge Education and the Ministry of Education and Human Development (MINEDH), the project developed tailored methodologies, teacher training courses and learning materials to reinforce reading and writing in the local languages of Xichangana and Xirhonga, as well as Portuguese. FFK’s bilingual literacy program produced strong results, with the students learning in local languages outperforming those outside the program in assessments of letter sound recognition, overall reading ability, reading comprehension, and dictation writing. The project’s final evaluation in December 2020 concluded that, in every instance, students tested in the language they speak at home achieved greater results than those tested in a different language from what is spoken at home. FFK emphasized teacher training and support as the foundation of its literacy program and critical to its sustainability after the project’s end. FFK trained and mentored teachers in methodologies to improve literacy, particularly in bilingual instruction, and in techniques and tools to use in the classroom. -17-
The project’s curricula and materials have been approved by MINEDH for replication and use in other districts that speak Xichangana and Xirhonga. Overall, the project distributed around 250,000 bilingual student books, teacher guides and reading materials in the three languages to students and teachers in the project. As stated in the project’s final evaluation, “The program has left schools with the capacity, both in terms of skills and materials, to continue to teach reading in local languages.” Students involved in the extracurricular clubs organized by the project were more active in class and showed improved self-esteem. Between 2017 and 2020, FFK introduced 802 extracurricular clubs at all project schools to support and motivate student learning by providing a time and place for dedicated teacher support as well as parent and community engagement in creative learning activities. The extracurricular activities, ranging from sports and dance to reading support, helped students become more confident by reinforcing and developing their skills and talents. In addition, the clubs encouraged peer support so that students supported students who were struggling. The clubs also hosted competitions and recognized teachers and students for active participation and progress in the clubs.
FFK trained and mentored teachers in methodologies to improve literacy in bilingual education and in techniques and tools to use in the classroom.
Health and Nutrition – Building the Knowledge and Skills of Students, Teachers and Communities Improving health through increased knowledge and skills in nutrition and sanitation was a central focus of the FFK project. The project trained teachers, cooks, government officials, teachers in training, and school council members in health, nutrition and good hygiene practices, which teachers and student groups shared with students and communities. Teachers trained as Nutrition Coaches led the promotion of basic nutrition, hygiene and sanitation at each school, and student-led Hygiene and Sanitation Committees were responsible for ensuring a clean school environment. These activities showed impressive results, with 85 percent of children trained in nutrition demonstrating a good knowledge of health and hygienic practices such as hand-washing, and 90 percent of teachers trained reporting changes in their own practices and those of their students.
important tool for teaching and incorporating nutrition into primary school programs throughout Mozambique. The project partnered with the Ministry of Health to administer deworming medication to approximately 150,000 school-aged children twice a year. This helped to ensure the health and well-being of children and their ability to attend and perform well at school.
The Nutrition Education Manual developed under FFK in collaboration with the American Soybean Association’s WISHH program was approved by MINEDH in 2019. The manual remains an -20-
“Learning isn’t limited to the classroom … We need to cultivate the spirit of learning in every area of our lives because that’s what life is about.” — Jose Clesio, FFK Manager
Water and Sanitation – Ensuring Access to Clean Water Access to water and sanitation and hygiene (WASH) is a common challenge for primary schools in Maputo Province and affects their ability to safely produce, prepare and serve food at the schools. Establishing a permanent source of clean water has a transformative effect on the health of students and surrounding communities. FFK successfully installed clean water systems at project schools, including boreholes and water pumps, to source clean water and water tanks for rainwater collection. The project also constructed latrines and hand-washing systems at each school and worked to ensure that school councils and communities were trained in the use, maintenance and repair of the infrastructure.
School Gardens – Fostering the Sustainable Production of Food FFK introduced 60 small-scale school gardens and eight large gardens at project schools in coordination with the District Economic Activities Services (SDAE) in each district. The gardens were used for the practical application of school concepts and as demonstration plots to teach students, teachers and communities about food production and nutrition. The gardens also provided fresh produce to supplement school meals. The eight larger gardens were envisioned as sources of food and income for the schools and communities and as a model for the incorporation of homegrown production into the national school feeding model. After establishing water systems and following several seasons of successful production, the project introduced a greenhouse and agricultural tunnel at each of the large gardens, which greatly increased production by permitting the year-round cultivation of food. By the project’s end, the eight large gardens were producing enough quantities to regularly supplement school meals, distribute to communities, and sell at local markets. Over 800 community volunteers contributed to the maintenance and production of the gardens throughout the year. Volunteers worked alongside project and government agricultural technicians to train in techniques from planting to harvesting as well as the use and maintenance of tools and equipment. -25-
School Garden Associations were established to formalize the management of the large gardens by creating specific roles for community members and introducing formal practices for the management of production, distribution and sales. This step helps ensure the continued operation of the large gardens, and allows them to more efficiently interact and partner with the government and other entities.
Anita Carlos Cossa Parent – Magude
Anita Carlos Cossa lives in the community of Mangolene in the district of Magude, 120 km from Maputo City. She is the mother of four children, two of which are students at Escola Primária Completa de Mangolene (EPC Mangolene) and two that are not yet of school age.
“The project will end, but we will continue to produce food in the garden’s agricultural tunnel and greenhouse.”
Anita helps with food production at the large school garden and volunteered as a cook to prepare the porridge for the children. She notes with satisfaction the impact of the school feeding project on her children’s physical and cognitive transformations. “When I learned that there would be a project at the EPC Mangolene that would provide porridge, I hurried to volunteer as a cook because I knew it would help our children. After we started, we saw a lot of changes in the children of the community – even those that had dropped out of school came back. It was very important for our children. We saw children studying in Xichangana things that we never thought possible. As an example, I grew up speaking Xichangana but my son taught me new words almost every day that he had learned in school. That is an immeasurable accomplishment.” Anita knows that the school feeding project has come to an end and sees difficult days ahead for children in the Mangolene community, but promises that the investment made by the project will not be in vain. “The project will end, but we will continue to produce food in the garden’s agricultural tunnel and greenhouse to feed our children at least three times a day.” -26-
Teacher Training – Educating the Next Generation
FFK worked not only to strengthen the capacity of current teachers, but also to ensure that future teachers were well prepared to teach future generations. The FFK project strengthened teacher training nationwide through support to students attending One World University and the 11 ADPP teachertraining colleges throughout Mozambique. Through USDA funding, FFK supported the training of 13,229 teachers at these institutions. In coordination with MINEDH, the teachertraining colleges provide both theoretical
and practical training programs to prepare future teachers for the realities of teaching throughout Mozambique, particularly in rural environments where resources are scarce. The curriculum emphasizes in-service training at local schools that allows students to gain hands-on teaching experience. Upon graduation, project-supported teachers are employed by MINEDH and will eventually impact an estimated 1 million children throughout their teaching careers. This investment has further long-term impact as it contributes to reducing teacher-to-student -29-
ratios and improved learning outcomes for girls and boys across the country. The teacher training colleges are brick-andmortar structures that provide a permanent infrastructure for training teachers through a nationally recognized and accredited program that will continue following the project’s end. In addition, the government contributions of approximately $9 million to the project’s teacher training activities over eight years is a significant indicator of their ongoing commitment to teacher training.
Sustainability – Progress Towards a National School Feeding Program The sustainability of activities was a primary focus throughout the project. Project activities strengthened the capacity of schools, communities and authorities through extensive training and mentoring of teachers, community members and government officials. The project developed high quality materials and curricula in coordination with MINEDH for Portuguese and bilingual instruction and nutritional education. These materials can be utilized and replicated by MINEDH and other partners to scale up the programs and their impact nationwide. At the provincial level, the DPEDH have set up a bilingual teaching strategy for 2021-29, drawing on the project’s expertise and experience. FFK has also worked as a key partner with MINEDH and school feeding implementers to support and advance the expansion of the national school feeding program (PRONAE). A critical milestone was achieved in 2020 with the launch of a formal coordination platform of partners, donors and the government to advance the critical steps of developing a national school feeding law and introducing a dedicated line item for school feeding in the national budget.
Arlinda Chaquisse, National Director of Nutrition and School Feeding, speaking about the sustainability of school feeding.
“The food was a huge incentive to not miss classes.”
Former Student (Participant) Cleusia Machava is 22 years old and was a participant in the FFK project eight years ago. Today she is in the 12th grade at the Moamba Secondary School. She has not forgotten the “good times” she experienced as a student at the Primary School 25 de Junho. “Those were unique moments that remain in my memory. The food was a huge incentive to not miss classes.” -31-
Student (Participant) Sálvia Chantel is in seventh grade at Primary School 25 de Junho, where she has received school meals since the first grade. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, classes were interrupted this year and she had to do without project support until the FFK project arranged for the distribution of CSB+ at home. “I really like the food that the school provides…One of the things that I liked most is that the porridge always helped us to have energy for classes, especially for physical education, which requires more energy.” Aside from the meals, Sálvia, like many of her colleagues, learned to garden at the school, which she continues at home with her mother. Sálvia says she has also improved the practice of handwashing before meals. -32-
COVID-19: Responding to the Pandemic The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020 required significant changes to project activities, due largely to the closure of the project’s 271 schools and teacher training colleges. In response, the project adapted its activities to provide remote instruction at primary schools and the colleges, promote hygiene and sanitation, and to distribute food to project participants. To continue the literacy program, FFK worked as a strategic partner with MINEDH to develop 233 lessons in Xichangana and Xirhonga and Portuguese that were broadcast via radio and television between April and August 2020. The project ramped up messaging on good health and hygiene, including COVID-19 preventative measures, and worked with the Ministry of Health on local communications campaigns. The project also painted murals with health and hygiene messages at central locations at the schools. FFK distributed soap to community volunteers during the pandemic and ensured that water systems, latrines and hand-washing systems were maintained in working order.
The project also redistributed staff to ensure the maintenance of the eight large gardens and selected 20 of the smaller school gardens for continued production. Through this effort, the gardens produced enough to distribute to community members in a time of increased food insecurity. During school closures, the gardens yielded 45,663 kg of produce that was distributed to students and their families. With prolonged school closures, FFK worked with MINEDH and USDA to begin the distribution of dry rations of CSB+ to student participants. In September and October 2020, the project distributed 588.35 MT of dry rations to students and their families in all four districts.
In September and October of 2020, the project distributed 588.35 MT of dry rations to students and their families.
Project Partners – Working Together to Improve the Health and Education of Children The success of the Food for Knowledge project was the result of the collaboration and commitment of individuals, partners and governments working together to improve the health and education of children in Mozambique. USDA Team with Planet Aid Representative at the Global Child Nutrition Forum (GCNF) in Tunisia in 2018.
Clay Hamilton, USDA Associate Administrator, visits the FFK project in 2019.
Almeida Zacarias, USDA Representative, speaks at an FFK event. -38-
In the development of the FFK early grade bilingual literacy program, the project team worked in close partnership with MINEDH to align its approach and materials with the Ministry’s bilingual education strategy. Further, the program incorporated the international best practices and experiences of USAID and the USG International Education Strategy. Based on the interagency memorandum of understanding signed between USDA and USAID, the FFK literacy program was designed to leverage food assistance with an improved learning framework to generate the best possible outcomes for children.
Jennifer Adams, USAID Mission Director, speaks at the celebration of International Mother Language Day at a project school in Muda, Matutuine on February 21, 2020.
José Raimundo Comate
Former Director of the District Services for Education, Youth and Technology (SDEJT) – Magude “During the period that I was the District Director of the District Services for Education, Youth and Technology (SDEJT) in Magude (2012-2019) we had the opportunity to work closely with the school feeding project, Food for Knowledge. Overall, the project’s impact was positive and we learned a lot from FFK about good management and community involvement in the future of our schools. “In this partnership, the project was involved in many areas: sourcing drinking water, ensuring sanitary conditions at schools, constructing kitchens and warehouses, forming school clubs for students with difficulty following lessons, supporting food production in school gardens through irrigation systems, providing nutritional education for cooks and teachers, and the training of teachers, school directors,
school council members, community leaders, SDEJT focal points, and district directors and administrators in school feeding management and related topics. “The partnership with Food for Knowledge in education has had numerous benefits for the schools, in addition to infrastructure. Teacher training in psycho-pedagogical theories has promoted a closer connection between the schools and communities. School enrollment, attendance rates and student performance have improved. There has been a reduction in school dropouts and in malnutrition compared to other districts – in the last three years of drought, some students only received meals at school. The project also promoted bilingual education and helped increase the literacy of students from participating schools.” -40-
Wentzel Mitchell, USDA Senior Analyst, at a meeting with FFK volunteers at a primary school.
District technicians with the FFK team during a joint monitoring visit.
The project’s vision for sustainability included the creation of large gardens at some schools – a program of great value to the participating communities because, aside from producing food for their students, they benefited by using some land to produce their own products, using the equipment and technology introduced by the project.
Head of the Pedagogical and Quality Assurance Department, DPEDH/ MINEDH “I followed with interest the activities carried out by this project, and its impact on teaching and learning processes. The provision of school meals for primary school students solved a problem that we had considered chronic – that of dropouts and, consequently, low pedagogical performance. Students were gradually losing interest in school. This problem was solved with the provision of school meals. Communities also benefited because community members themselves worked to prepare the meals and received hygienic materials.
“In the last years of project implementation, the literacy program was introduced, initially focused on bilingual education but quickly adapted to monolingual instruction as well. The literacy program added value to the teaching and learning processes by introducing teaching methodologies that facilitated students’ learning in the classroom. The regular training of trainers, provincial and district technicians, and teachers was a major accomplishment. The project also completed didactic materials that facilitated and continue to facilitate the work of teachers in the classroom. The expansion of bilingual education gained greater momentum in the province, with 158 schools in 2020, 102 of which are a part of the FFK project. 14,564 students attend these schools and 7,338 are girls – an exponential growth since 2017, when the project was first implemented. “We will miss the entire FFK team that worked hard for the success of education in Maputo Province and in the country in general.” -42-
Community and government representatives meet to discuss the progress and sustainability of project activities at the FFK Annual Meeting in 2019. -43-
Former Head of the Department of School Health and Nutrition, Victor Francisco Victor, commented on the impact of the project’s components. “The project’s positive impacts on the participants were evident throughout implementation. For instance:
Victor Francisco Victor
Former Head of the Department of School Health and Nutrition, DPEDH/MINEDH
• Most of the children participating in the project are from rural areas, where poverty levels are high and often result in hungry children leaving school and their families to go to cities and live on the streets, or starting to work very early. With the school feeding project, this has changed because children are with their parents to study. • Parents are motivated to send their children to school because they know that they will be fed and learn comfortably. The meals that children receive at school improve their concentration and take some of the financial burden off of parents and guardians. • The project has made encouraging impacts on children inside and outside the classroom, including their participation in extracurricular activities. Teachers express -44-
how much easier it is to teach children than when they did not eat and had difficulty concentrating in class. • Teacher-student relationships have improved and the level of trust that children have in teachers has increased. This helped a lot in teaching and learning, as children feel free to ask questions of their teachers. • The materials distributed to schools have brought additional learning benefits for students and equipped teachers with improved tools to deliver high-quality lessons. The books provided by the project have been a good resource for teaching and learning and have given students access to information outside of the school books provided by the government. Teachers say that their work is much easier and of better quality with the teaching materials. • It is common to see children from project schools doing their homework at school during the weekends with the support of the school clubs formed by the project. Parents recognize the benefits of attending school and that their children are well taken care of at school.”
Celebrating Together As a part of its activities, FFK participated together with local education officials to commemorate national and international days related to project components, including: • February 21: International Mother Language Day • March 1: Africa Day of School Feeding • Second Thursday in March: International School Meals Day • June 1: World Children’s Day • June 16: Day of the African Child • September 8: International Literacy Day • October 12: Teacher’s Day • October 16: World Food Day
Birgit Holm, Executive Director of ADPP Mozambique, distributes awards on International Mother Language Day. -45-
Carmelita Namashulua, Minister of Education and Human Development, visits FFK in 2020.
The FFK closing ceremony in Maputo on Dec. 16, 2020 engaged communities through a local parade, traditional dance, and personal testimonies from the government, partners, and participants. -46-
In Conclusion The final external evaluation of the Food for Knowledge (FFK) project took place from June-December 2020 to assess the project’s progress since 2012. The evaluation concluded:
“As the FFK project closes, the goal of sustainability must be maintained. FFK2 made significant progress in that direction, building human capital, knowledge and systems. Thanks to advocacy and collaboration with other agencies, school feeding is now on the Government of Mozambique’s (GoM) agenda, with progress made towards a national school feeding law. However, sustainability will require resources to fund the base food. This report ends with a call to the GoM to ensure that the necessary material and human resources are mobilized to ensure school feeding continues. Likewise, it is important to continue to pursue and expand the successes of the local language literacy program. The evaluation team congratulates the FFK project on its achievements and wishes the GoM every success in pursuing and building on these.”
“For eight years, the FFK project worked with government, communities, and schools to create the infrastructure, systems, and capacity to feed 90,000 pupils, grow food locally, as well as develop and implement two innovative programs: one to promote literacy in local languages, the other to deliver nutrition education. This is a significant achievement in Mozambique’s challenging environment. The evaluation team attributes much of this success to Planet Aid and ADPP’s community development approach, which builds capacity on the ground through ‘working shoulder to shoulder with the poor,’ energetic leadership, a determination to get things done, and progressively developing effective systems and procedures. Overall, the evaluation outlines a successful project that achieved or surpassed its goals – and that made a difference in the lives of students, “….The project has led to much positive change: students are reading teachers and communities. Although FFK has come to an end, it stands better; trainee teachers show improved literacy levels in Portuguese; out as an extraordinary example of cross-continental collaboration, in-service teachers are aware of active, student-centered learning demonstrating the power of teamwork and a shared passion to approaches; the homegrown school feeding gardens (HGSFGs) are improve the basic human conditions in health and education. FFK has producing large amounts of food to benefit schools and communities; laid a strong foundation for local action and ownership, which will and school water committees exist to maintain water systems. continually improve learning outcomes, local food production, and the school environment for all.