The Counterpart team in Mozambique showcased the work of the McGovern-Dole Food for Education and Child Nutrition program in Mozambique, Our Bright Future!, for a delegation of U.S. representatives that included USDA and USAID officials, and the U.S. Ambassador to Mozambique Peter H. Vrooman.
The ambassador and USDA delegation arrived in the Matutuine district on April 26 and visited two primary schools, Pedreira and Kufa, and met with members of the district’s executive cabinet. USDA officials, including Camillia Freeland-Taylor, international program specialist, Katie Woody, senior agricultural attaché for southern Africa, and Graciela Briceno, foreign service education officer for USAID Mozambique, also had the opportunity to meet with the local communities, school councils, and even members of the big machambas, or community school gardens. Children read to the ambassador in Portuguese and their local language, highlighting the importance of preserving indigenous languages.
We held a press conference at Kufa primary school to kick off an advocacy campaign called Alimentacao Escolar Para Todos, or School Feeding to All, led by Mozambican civil society, and supported by the project, aimed at pushing the government to adopt a new school feeding strategy and approve legislation that will mandate universal coverage of school feeding to all children in primary education. Ambassador Vrooman is committed to the cause and will continue to advocate for its inclusion in the upcoming Mozambican sovereign fund.
The next day, our team accompanied USDA officials on a visit to Magude warehouse and three local primary schools: Magude Sede, Cuamula, and Unidos Venceremos. The Magude permanent secretary joined the visit alongside the district education director. The delegation met with the district’s executive cabinet school councils, teachers, and students. They watched a lesson in Changana, a Bantu language spoken in southern Africa, a school garden demonstration, and the preparation of meals, using both USDA and local commodities.
On the third day, Freeland-Taylor and the USDA team visited the Counterpart team in Matola.
The visit from the USDA delegation and the ambassador reinforced the U.S. government’s commitment school feeding and promoting literacy in Mozambique.
Read more about how our Mozambique school feeding project is boosting school attendance in the Mautuine district.