Recent estimates from the Government of Mozambique indicate that 3,504 classrooms were either destroyed or damaged when Cyclone Idai hit Mozambique on March 15, disrupting the education of more than 335,000 girls and boys. After responding to the disaster with first aid intervention and focusing on family reunification, AVSI is now working on a long-term response to reopen 22 schools and send at least 30,000 children back to class. Funded by Education Cannot Wait, a global fund for education in emergencies, the intervention will support children living in Beira and Nhamatanda, in the Sofala region, the most affected by the cyclone.
“These schools are among the most affected infrastructures in this region. Some have been destroyed or badly damaged by the cyclone, many others were used for weeks as reception centers for displaced people,” explains AVSI Mozambique representative, Martina Zavagli. “With our intervention, we want to restore the quality of education received by students in this region, despite the state of emergency.”
For Rebecca Apio, having the chance to train with a former Italian soccer player who was part of the team that won the 2006 FIFA World Cup, is a dream coming true. Rebecca is a student at Luigi Giussani High School in Kireka, one of the poorest neighborhoods in Kampala and is sponsored by AVSI through the Distant Support Program. She is among the 350 boys and girls who are participating in the #Goal4Uganda project. Implemented by AVSI in partnership with the Italian Soccer player’s Association (AIC) and the Association CDO (Compagnia delle Opere) Sport, the project develops an educational model that promotes soccer as a tool for social inclusion and positive socialization.
“Goal4Uganda has been a great chance for me as soccer has always been part of my life,” celebrates Rebecca, who, until last year, wasn't attending school because her parents couldn’t afford it. “Here, at Luigi Giussani High School, I rediscovered my value and I feel I'm now the protagonist of my life. When we are on the field, we are all committed to a common challenge, with no differences of languages, origins, or economic situation... Together we've learned a lot, but above all we have had fun. Soccer is an exciting game and I would like to play more."
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