Students walking to the home of the Barrio Secretary

Students of the Rural School Family program in Mozambique

A mission parish of our Vice-Province of Mozambique, St. Jerome in Magude, has for some time provided professional training for rural people. The training has included carpentry, agriculture, and pottery making.  One of the newest and most promising programs is called the Rural School Family. The program teaches basic agriculture and animal husbandry to youth, and employs experience-based learning.  Students alternate between spending 15 days in a class setting, and then 15 days at home where they put into practice the knowledge they receive. Students share the knowledge with their families to increase the productivity of their gardens and farms.

Involvement and support of families is key to the success of the program, since the students return home every two weeks to “learn from doing” in their own fields, side by side with their parents. Students and their families jointly learn better land uses, such as improved methods of sowing and care of livestock.  Village leaders are also involved in the program, which helps promote the improved farming techniques throughout the broader community.  A motivating theme of the program is “my family, my village,” where participants, instead of just being passive students, are also active agents in the development of their village.

The Barrio Secretary addresses students

The Barrio Secretary addresses students

The photos show a group of students visiting the leader of their local community, the Barrio Secretary.  The Vice-Province of Mozambique is a beneficiary of the Patrimony Fund Project (Vincentian Endowment Challenge).