Tag: Mozambique

Obama Allocates $300,000,000 to Fight HIV Infections in Young Women in Africa

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President Barack Obama (PHOTO BY ALEX WONG/GETTY IMAGES)

In an effort to combat HIV infections in girls and young women in 10 sub-Saharan African nations hit hardest by the virus, the Obama administration recently announced a $300 million program to help reduce the growing numbers according to The Associated Press.

The administration hopes to see a “25 percent infection reduction in females between ages 15-24 by the end of next year and a 40 percent reduction by the end of 2017,” the report says.

“No greater action is needed right now than empowering adolescent girls and young women to defeat HIV/AIDS,” said National Security Adviser Susan Rice of the program credited with saving millions of lives in Africa, writes The AP.

The new goals represent the next phase of the program, which was started by President George W. Bush and broadened by President Barack Obama, the report says.

The Obama administration releaased the new targets before “a U.N. summit on development goals for lifting people around the world out of poverty. Obama is scheduled to address the development meeting on Sunday,” writes The AP

About half of all new HIV infections among girls and young women last year are from the 10 countries countries targeted by the new initiatives, including Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, The AP says.

Read more at The Associated Press

article by Lynette Holloway via theroot.com

Mario Macilau, a Former “Street Child” in Mozambique, Becomes Top Photographer Through Exhibitions on Isolated Groups

As a boy, I dreamed of becoming a journalist. But then I got caught up with day-to-day troubles. When your life is full of worry it is like the future does not exist.

When I was about seven, my father left our home in a township near Maputo and travelled to South Africa to look for work. I was older than my sisters and had to help bring in some money. So I started to take my mother’s biscuits into town to sell in the market.

I got into doing odd jobs in the market – washing people’s cars and helping to carry their bags. Instead of going home, I often slept overnight in the market with my friends.

Showering by Mario Macilau
A boy washes himself with soap before a meeting with charity workers (Image copyright: Mario Macilau)

It wasn’t very safe. We had nowhere to keep anything, so we stole from one another. I got into some bad habits – minor criminality, but it was a question of survival. Dog eat dog.

My mother tried several times to send me to school but she just couldn’t afford the fees. But all this time I was learning – I read books, and through volunteering with NGOs I learned English.

When I was about 14, I borrowed a friend’s camera. I started to take photographs of my surroundings, documenting people from the townships as they travelled to the city to sell their things. They were black-and-white photos, which I developed in a darkroom I made in my mother’s house. I was teaching myself how to do things, practising whenever I could, but it was difficult for me to pay for the film and the chemicals.

Dreaming of Sunset by Mario Macilau
Street children live as nomads, moving from one point to the next with nothing but a little water and hand towels to wash cars. Macilau says they mostly sleep during the day because they are scared of night-time attacks by policemen, many of whom used to be street boys. (Image copyright: Mario Macilau)White line 10 pixels

My favourite photograph was taken near the township where I grew up early one morning. It was of a woman walking into town to sell cassava. She had her back to the camera and it was raining.

Continue reading “Mario Macilau, a Former “Street Child” in Mozambique, Becomes Top Photographer Through Exhibitions on Isolated Groups”

Obamas Launch “Let Girls Learn” Education Initiative

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President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama put their weight behind Let Girls Learn on Tuesday, an initiative to help girls around the world attend secondary school and complete their education.

“Let Girls Learn” began as a United States Agency for International Development effort last summer, and featured a video with celebrities like Alicia Keys and Shonda Rhimes. The goal was “to provide the public with meaningful ways to help all girls to get a quality education,” building on past work on girls’ education and empowerment around the world. Now, the Obama administration will enhance existing programs and expand efforts across the government and through partnerships with the private sector.

“A good education can lift you from the most humble circumstances into a life you never could have imagined,” the first lady said Tuesday when she and the president announced the plan. “I see myself in these girls. I see our daughters in these girls,” she said. “I want to use my time and platform as first lady and beyond to make a real impact.”

According to a FLOTUS tweet, women and girls make up 70 percent of those living in extreme poverty around the world, a fact that education can help change. Approximately 62 million girls around the world are not in school, explains a fact sheet published Tuesday by the White House, with half that number representing adolescent girls.

“These girls have diminished economic opportunities and are more vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, early and forced marriage, and other forms of violence,” the fact sheet says. “Yet when a girl receives a quality education, she is more likely to earn a decent living, raise a healthy, educated family, and improve the quality of life for herself, her family and her community. In addition, girls’ attendance in secondary school is correlated with later marriage, later childbearing, lower maternal and infant mortality rates, lower birth rates, and lower rates of HIV/AIDS.”

imagesThe first lady will work with the Peace Corps to develop community-based solutions and recruit and train volunteers. During the first year of the program, the Peace Corps will implement Let Girls Learn in 11 countries—Albania, Benin, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Georgia, Ghana, Moldova, Mongolia, Mozambique, Togo, and Uganda—and will expand to additional countries the following year.

The initiative will include programs focused on education, empowerment and leadership, health and nutrition, preventing gender-based violence, and preventing child, early and forced marriage.

Partnerships with the private sector include commitments from the Center for Universal Education at the Brookings Institution, CARE, Girl Scouts of the U.S.A., PBS Learning Media and the U.N. Foundation’s Girl Up campaign.

To join the efforts please go to letgirlslearn.peacecorps.gov

article by Stav Ziv via newsweek.com

Sixty Four Year-Old Mozambican Margarida Matsinhe Wins Prestigious Vaccine Innovation Award

Photo: Benoit Marquet/Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

Ms. Margarida Matsinhe (left) has worked in vaccine delivery in Mozambique for more than 30 years.

Sixty-four-year-old Margarida Matsinhe has won the 2013 Gates Vaccine Innovation Award for her “instrumental” work in overhauling the vaccine system in her native Mozambique.

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, made the announcement on Wednesday in his annual letter. The award recognizes “revolutionary ways” for immunizing the world’s poorest children. Nominees are assessed on innovation and creativity, impact and scale.

Matsinhe, a field officer with the non-profit Village Reach, has worked in vaccine delivery in Mozambique for more than 30 years, including during the country’s civil war and post-war reconstruction period. She currently serves on the government’s Committee of Experts on Immunisation and advises leaders on vaccine quality and distribution strategies.

Partly as a result of her work, Mozambique has achieved vaccine coverage of 95 percent, but Matsinhe says her goal is no less than 100 percent.

Continue reading “Sixty Four Year-Old Mozambican Margarida Matsinhe Wins Prestigious Vaccine Innovation Award”