Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?
Post-War Mozambique has many challenges and providing infrastructure for youths are not a priority. Without the physical space to play and learn, capacity building and engaging youths in a constructive manner becomes very difficult. Manica has 40 000 people and one dirt football field. This means that young men normally gets preference over young boys and girls. These kids are very poor and deserve a safe, clean and beautiful space to play and learn. In stead of waiting for a place GDM has been learning and working with the surrounding it has, like converting a ld bull-fighting arena, into a training ground. Funders are always keen to build capacity, to save the planet or to do HIV-Aids and education; therefore GDM came up with a holistic plan that combines all these elements. With poor parents, an absense of local business and an over-burdened local government, it is a major challenge to provide capital and cash to assist kids to play and learn.
Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!
Poor people require holistic solutions to the challenges they face, because their lives are integrated. In a poor rural town like Manica, the youths dont separate their issues of hunger, life-skills, computer literacy, HIV-Aids or playing football. Therefore GDM is creating Futeco Park, a physical space that reflects the family values of the organisation. Futeco Park is a mix of football and ecology and includes planting 1500 trees, making 3 football fields, organic vegetables, accommodation and training facilities. In Africa, sport (football) and conservation programs are normally not implemented together. Besides addressing environmental issues, trees, specifically fruit trees are also a source of nutrition and income. Footballers invest in their future by planting Mango, Litchi, Papaya, Banana, Orange and Nut trees. In addition all sorts of indigenous or traditional trees and plants are grown, for cultural and utilitarian reasons.
We have sacrificed 6 years, doing capacity building without any good infrastructure, now it is time to create a space that reflects the human relations that GDM has established. For poor people a space is never just about utility, it is symbolic and motivational, like monuments, which makes kids proud and motivated. For wealthy people it is easy to say 'its not about a building' but if a kid does not have a place to kick a ball, learning becomes difficult. OUr approach is to creat one place where vulnerable kids can be safe and motivated. A field for older youths, a field for boys and a field for girls, all in one yard, full of learning spaces, fresh produce to consume and also having internet available. In this way youths perform their own peer-to-peer afterschool. These elements coupled with the programs normal activities of life-skills, football training and social responsibility provides a foundation for sustainable development. To establish and maintain the site, we use the 'more than a player' program for older youths.