Working together…

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June 24, 2011

Working together for better care for orphans and vulnerable children

Market streetHello from Quelimane, Mozambique! My internship partner Marques and I have now relocated from Maxixe to Quelimane for the second project of our internship. But before I tell you about that, a little bit about what I’ve been up to since I last wrote.

During our field visits with IRD’s local partner organizations, we noted the many unfulfilled needs of the orphans and vulnerable children in the province of Inhambane. We also met with government representatives who oversee programs with orphans and vulnerable children. They told us that they did not have a lot of information on these children in the province, and they would be happy to receive data on them from organizations such as IRD and its partners which are implementing programs to support them. READ MORE

Craft, art, and creativity in unexpected places

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June 10, 2011

A child demonstrates on the apparatus used to make woven reed mats

Mozambicans engage in a number of crafts for everyday purposes. For instance, when we have been out in the field, we often see homes with an interesting-looking apparatus for the weaving of reed mats (see picture). This is something that can be done at home with readily available materials, so it seems that many families just make their own mats rather than spending scarce money to buy one. For me, who can’t even mend a shirt, this is pretty impressive. I get excited and ask to take pictures, and people very kindly indulge me.

Even more impressive than the homemade reed mats are the houses and walls, which are constructed from extremely tightly woven palm fronds or reeds. I asked my IRD coworkers and they told me that these palm/reed houses can be constructed in less than a week, and then they last about 5 years. Wow. READ MORE

Out in the field

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June 9, 2011

Dirt road to field site.

I have been in the town of Maxixe about two weeks now, working with the IRD office here. For our project, and also because this is the “fun stuff” of development work, I have been trying to go out in the field as much as possible.

First, a little more about our project in Maxixe with IRD’s program for orphans and vulnerable children. Mozambique is deeply affected by HIV/AIDS, with a national prevalence of 15% and a prevalence in the southern region (where Maxixe is located) of 21%. READ MORE

Getting Started

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June 6, 2011

Our first week as IRD interns began in Washington, DC at the IRD headquarters. During that week, we learned about the different sectors of IRD, such as logistics, health, infrastructure, and community development. IRD does such diverse work in the area of development. It was fascinating for me as a public health student to learn more about projects in other development sectors, and I can’t wait to see some of these programs at work in Mozambique.

Also during our week at IRD headquarters, my internship partner, Marques, and I learned more about the projects we will work on. First, we will be working with a program caring for orphans and vulnerable children through partner organizations in the province of Inhambane. We will help to create guides for volunteers working with these organizations to better meet the special needs of vulnerable children. This might include assuring that they have identification documents, access to school, and proper nutrition. READ MORE