On the fourth day of our IWitness trip to Mozambique, we started with a visit to the birthplace of Tete city. Tete was originally built in 1890 about 40 kilometres from the current city centre on top of a hill near to the Zambezi River next to São Jorge. There was a Portuguese monastery, which is now a church. The old buildings are also in use by a secondary school.
Bringing messages of life skills close to people
In the evening we had a chance to see the mobile unit in action. After sunset the mobile unit drives to a football field where the team set everything up for the evening’s show. Local people, mostly younger, gather on the field. It is clearly a big happening and reaches a lot of students. UNICEF is supporting the mobile unit but the main coordinator is Mozambique’s Office of Communication. Together with local health officials, they also provide HIV testing in these events and the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) supports by giving condoms to participants.
The mobile unit consists of three team members: the mobiliser (the host of the show), audio technician and driver. The show is interactive with videos, music, plays and drama. Videos give information about different topics, for example cholera, mosquito nets, WASH, child labour, use of condoms and HIV. There are both locally made videos and global videos from UNICEF. In Tete, there are 7-8% of people living with HIV, and with mobile units giving more information people know how to protect themselves against HIV. Mobile units are in the district once in a month; they have 15 districts in the Tete area, and four of them are supported by UNICEF. They also use mobile units to call people to have vaccinations the next day or registration for children under five years.
Food—one reason to stay in school
The UN’s World Food Programme is supporting the home-grown school meals, integrated into the social protection framework. In many schools, mothers are volunteering to make food from corn and beans for school kids. It helps children stay in school longer when they get at least one warm meal daily.