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In 1995, the ADPP (translated: Development Aid from People to People) Center was opened in Lamego. To date, the center is home to a teacher training college, Escola de Professores do Futuro, Child Aid projects, Ajuda as Crinças, and a vocational school, Escola de Artes e Ofícios.
I will be spending my year working in the vocational school. EAO, Escola de Artes e Ofícios, is a one year boarding school which offers three vocational courses: Agriculture-Animal Husbandry, Commerce-Secretarial and Construction. In addition to these courses classes are offered in four other general disciplines: Mathematics, Portuguese, Computers and English. EAO is the only vocational school in the Sofala province and one of only four in the country. The courses are offered to students between the ages of 17 and 24 who are at a minimum of a 7th grade level. After completing the two-year course, the students graduate from tenth grade and earn a professional certificate, which, in turn, offers many opportunities.
My time in Lamego is focused on the agriculture and animal husbandry courses. The agriculture students actively take part in the running and upkeep of the farm. The course is very practice orientated. Each student spends about half of the day working on cultivating tomatoes, carrots, onions, etc., or feeding and maintaining 50 goats, 12 sheep, 78 ducks, 45 turkeys, 15 pigeons and 9 pigs or working with the papaya, banana, and mango fields. In addition, the students also spend time studying various topics including climate, soil, erosion, cultivation, animal husbandry, forestry, and management of farms. The overall aim of the course is to prepare the students to be able to manage small-scale farms on their own, qualify them to work for someone else, or to organize small farmers associations.
Additionally, I teach English to the students. Knowledge of English is very important to young Mozambicans. Each of the neighboring countries to Mozambique are English speaking countries. Very often, English is required to gain employment. Very often businesses and plantations are run and administered by English speakers who often come from South Africa or Zimbabwe.
I will be teaching along side of the agriculture teacher, my Mozambican counterpart. In doing so, it is guaranteed that I do not initiate anything that he is not fully committed to and committed to continuing after my year is completed. Thus, the sustainability of the project is more assured.