Mozambique and the Murray

In October, five Sixth Form students from the Murray and two members of staff travelled to Tete in Mozambique to observe the work of the Young African Leadership Programme (YALP), which seeks to provide a high-quality education to young Mozambican children.

Sixth Form students, Zayn Rajan and Charlie Bullick tell us about their experience.

The aim of YALP is to move students from schools with broken desks and holes in the walls to well-developed, IB-supported, international schools like Enko Benga. We spent our time, as one member of our team put it, “Going to local schools in Tete, teaching the children Maths, English and Chess”. This provided us with a teacher’s perspective and helped us to further engage with the Mozambican students. We enjoyed engaging in numerous activities, from playing ball games to organising spelling contests.

We have often described the trip as an “eye-opener”; it was an incredible experience. When asked what he learnt from the trip, another member of our party said, “It allowed us to comprehend the poverty and famine that riddles Mozambique yet, more importantly, it allowed us to realise the economic prospects of such developing countries”. We were surprised by the prosperity and development of the schools and intellectual ability of some of the young children. Their English was excellent, and they were keen to know more.

Pashqual, by Zayn Rajan

‘Even a small action can have a great impact on another person.’

Upon arrival at Enko Benga on the first day, we were introduced to the students by the Headmaster. All the children were roaring with laughter and excitement. Apart from one young, Year 4, boy. His name was Pashqual. He seemed discontented, as if he didn’t want to be there. I approached him to see why he seemed so unhappy. In a poor English accent, he said he didn’t want to play, he wanted to draw instead.

I took him by the hand and brought him to Ramos – the teacher in charge of co-curricular activities. He pointed me to a small room with a stack of plain paper and a pot of colouring pencils. Pashqual’s eyes lit up at the sight and he rushed into the room, dragging me with him. He grabbed about seven different pencils and began to draw. He grinned uncontrollably and signalled me to join him.

It was crazy how a small gesture changed his mood completely. So, each day we would draw for the first part of the afternoon. And soon I got him convinced to pay football too. He loved it. So, on the last day, when Ramos asked, “Who wants to play football?” he jumped franticly and bounced around with joy and wild energy! It proved to me how even a small action can have a great impact on another person. It is why seeing the work of YALP was such a great experience because it reflected that idea completely!

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