ADPP – Cantina de Soja – Sofala

Final Report
D.I Name: Andrea Pérez School: Richmond Vale Academy Time in the project: March 15th 2010 to August 21st 2010 D.I’s home location: EPF Lamego, Nhamatanda

Project Description
In Farmers Club Sofala, I worked with the project named Cantina de Soja. This project operates in 3 Districts: Dondo, Nhamatanda and Gorongosa in the province of Sofala in Central Mozambique. Cantina de Soja works with 50 canteens and its headquarters are located in Dondo. The main focus of each canteen is to feed 15 orphans one meal a day, feeding 750 orphans all together. The project also aims to promote the consumption of soy in poor communities and to improve the nutritional intake of the population while offering soy dishes at affordable pricing. Additionally, it betters the qualifications and living conditions of the volunteers working at the canteens and in the canteen vegetable gardens by giving trainings and opportunities on business, agriculture, cooking, sales and health topics. Furthermore, the project also promotes the creation of a small business or store thru a loan system for each canteen. In order to help fulfill and support the canteens objectives; as a DI, I worked with 1 project leader, 3 project coordinators, 3 supervisors, 5 interns and 1 agricultural worker. Based on location, distances and schedules I focused my work mostly in Nhamatanda while occasionally working in Gorongosa and, since another DI was responsible of working in Dondo, I never worked directly with the last district.



Orphans playing at the Canteen

With Cantina de Soja I worked in the following areas:

Meeting at the Headquarters

1. Health carnets
I collaborated in the process of making health carnets in the districts of Nhamatanda and Gorongosa. In Nhamatanda: I took pictures, gathered all the ID documents and registered in the hospital the health carnets of 81 people. In Gorongosa: I took the picture of 66 volunteers and other workers will take care of the rest of the process which is organizing people to get tested and treated plus registering and handing out the carnets. I also took care of editing, printing and organizing the 147 pictures.

The 81 health carnets are finally ready!

For Nhamatanda, making the carnets was a slow process that took 5 months. Transportation, logistics, communication and infrastructure complexities where gradually overcome. Since many visits to the canteens where required to take pictures and collect Ids from the volunteers and, at the hospital, several meetings and letters where required to finalize the process. In Gorongosa the process of taking 66 pictures took 1 month.

2. Training about Soja
As the project was constantly planning to promote the consumption of soy and since I have a background in graphic design, I created one training about soy which explained about the services provided by the canteen, the dish prices and the nature and health facts of soy, as well of the way of preparation of soy meals. Furthermore, another aim of this training was to educate people - in a friendly - way about the origin of soy. Many people think that soy meat comes from human flesh and, therefore, refuse to eat it. As shown in the picture in the right, for each canteen, an A3 poster was made to enclose all the information mentioned above. Also with the same design, 5 A4 papers where printed to post in different key places on each community. The poster was made in a very visual way for illiterate and non Portuguese speakers to understand easily. In Nhamatanda, the training was made by gathering all the volunteers at each canteen and then talking about what is shown in the poster. After that, I would go with the president of the canteen to the nearest school, market, hospital and mill to talk to and train the people in charge of these locations and, in

their presence, paste the smaller posters in their work areas for many people to see. In Gorongosa, the presidents received the training and printed material with the objective of training their volunteers and posting the papers in their own communities. In Dondo, the other DI gave the training and posted the signs in the community.

3. Training about Cholera
Because Cholera is an epidemic that still affects African communities and because places where food is served can be a dangerous spreading or contamination source, I made a training about Cholera. The training consisted in 4 big posters and talked about the severity, symptoms, causes, prevention and treatment of the disease. It also encouraged the use of water purifying methods.
All trainings about soy and cholera where translated to the local language, Massena, by the president or the supervisor present.

These trainings where done in the canteens of Nhamatanda and Gorongosa in collaboration with the supervisors and interns working in these districts.

4. Moringa Trees
To promote the usage of the nutritious leaves of Moringa in the soy dishes, I helped distribute Moringa seedlings. These seedlings suffered a lot from the transportation conditions, goats and kids that destroyed them and the lack of watering or care from the volunteers at the canteens. Therefore, I was advised to plant stronger branches instead. For these reason, during food distribution the project gave Moringa to most canteens. And others, the volunteers collected them or I gave them out. So far, in Nhamatanda and Gorongosa, most canteens have Moringa branches and seedlings growing. The few canteens that do not have them it’s because of lack of space or care.
Planting branches is much more efficient than planting seedlings

The usage of Moringa stills needs to be encouraged, yet unfortunately, the plants are too small to do so now.

5. New menus
To promote the cooking and selling of dishes, I made menus for the district of Gorongosa. Most canteens received a custom made menu and, the ones that did not have many dishes or where not visited at the moment I was gathering the information; received a blank menu for them to fill out. Additionally, Nhamatanda and Dondo will receive blank menus in the presidents meetings of August. In Nhamatanda, some canteens have old menus from a former DI that can be updated.

6. Soy Promotion days
I attended to 2 soy promotion days in Muda Estação, Nhamatanda and in Canda, Gorongosa. Both canteens and district workers choose different approaches to carry on with the event. One did quick trainings about soy and direct invitations to the community while the other used games, prices and music to attract costumers.

I believe both approaches need to be used to make appealing promotion days, unfortunately, during my work in the project; no other promotion days where made to put in practice such experiences.
Promotion days are important for community awareness and support

7. Loan follow ups
During the first loan returns, I helped interns and supervisors collect, sign off and store the money before it was delivered to the offices in Dondo. I also helped give advice on how and what products to buy and talked about the importance and necessity to pay for the loans on time and completely at many canteens.

8. Food Distribution
For 2 times, I accompanied the food distribution team into the canteens in Nhamatanda and Gorongosa. I now can see how time and energy consuming this process can be. It has also taught me how technology and communications is necessary for an easier and more efficient distribution. It is hard and time consuming to tell everyone that a distribution in happening with time, money, transportation and cell phone limitations.

9. Canteen and Project Meetings
During the 6 months I worked in the project, I attended every other Saturday to the general meetings in Dondo. Furthermore, together with the supervisors and interns, we held

weekly meetings at the canteens. In these meetings I usually lead trainings or took pictures while the other workers resolved or talked about the decisions made in the general meetings and various difficulties or concerns the volunteers had with the store, food distribution, loan payments and cooking schedules, among other topics. I also attended to 2 president/district meetings in Nhamatanda and Gorongosa.

10. Water Pump in Nharuchonga
One of our most successful canteens, Nharuchonga, had the initiative to open a water pump in order to sell water to the community and have unlimited access to water. An One Word University intern and I, started the process to get a water pump installed. After making a petition letter and meeting with different people in Beira and Nhamatanda from the state organization - Agua Rural – we received a working plan from this organization. Unfortunately, their proposal was to expensive and the project reached to the conclusion that making a water pump thru the government is impossible, neither the project nor the volunteers can afford it. However, a project coordinator has included the name of the community in a different water pump distribution project and hopefully the community can have better access to water someday.

11. AGSP and Child Aid
During the first 2 weeks that I was in Lamego, I spent my time in an AGSP training at Child Aid. This training gave me a deeper understanding of the work ADPP does; on how development for a big group of beneficiaries is more complex and it gave a more profound glimpse at the Mozambican culture I was going to work with.

12. Market space
While the canteen in Balança, Dondo was being built up, it had some delays and complications, so the volunteers had no place to cook but their own homes. When the project started looking for a place to rent inside the market area, I fund out about places available in the municipal market building. As a result, I talked with the governor of Dondo, made a petition letter and started the process of renting a place in this building. A few weeks later and, with the follow up of the project coordinator, the market space was rented allowing this canteen to have a great location with good and discounted rent fee.

13. HIV awareness and testing event
Other DIs had the initiative to organize a 2 day HIV awareness and testing event in Lamego. Here, as a strong motivation factor, people where given a plate of food after getting tested.

More than 200 people attended to the event and it was well organized. It had an HIV awareness theater done by students of the vocational school in EPF Nhamatanda; a Capoeira and traditional dancing done by children from the local orphanage and a picture show done by the DIs. This showed me that such initiatives can be created by DIs in Africa successfully. During this event I helped mostly with the distribution of food.

14. Help packages/personal and project investigation

With the help of friends and family, I received money to help people in Africa. After much consideration, I decided to give 25 families of single or widowed mothers a package with the following items: • • Mosquito net – To prevent sickness or death by malaria to their family members or themselves. Seeds – To improve their nutrition intake and to provide another source of income generating activities. For these I gave them 5 kind of seeds (onion, cabbage, 2 types of couve and lettuce) Soap – To promote hygiene and because, after working in the canteens I have seen that Mozambican low income families like and need to receive as an essential help.

These 25 families are not related to the canteen orphans or volunteers. When I decided I could only help 25 families of the 750 project orphans – to avoid hurt or angry feelings - I was advised by the project coordinators to make a package for all the 750 orphans or to none of

them. Therefore, based on lack of money and resources, I decided to work independently from Cantina de Soja in this initiative. In addition, because the project is finishing in October, I concluded that my investigation week was not a vital necessity for the project. However, I realized that my participation in more trainings and the culmination of the health carnets was. For this reason, I decided to stay and make an alternative “project and personal investigation” approach. As a result, I made this help package as a study on how product distribution and election of beneficiaries is done. I can now see that product selection and distribution is not an easy thing to neither do nor organize. When there are so many people in need of help and when there are some many ways of helping; figuring out what or how to give and who to give it to it’s a very difficult thing to do. Trying to make donations self sustainable and useful is the key.

Final observations

Project Overview
Cantina de Soja originated and was directed by TCE a few years ago. It is my opinion that, in these last 2 years, since the project is being directed by Farmers Clubs, it has improved a lot and has gained a much needed structure. Actions like: • • • • • • Building up of well thought and well constructed cement canteens Distribution of plates, glasses, chairs, tables and other basic equipment Encouragement and follow up in the creation canteen gardens Setting of a loan system and a store, Training about soy, cooking and health Making of canteen associations and partnerships

Are actions that needed to be done at the beginning of the project and not at the end of it, in order to help the canteens to truly do well.

After many visits to the canteens and attending to the many general meetings, I now realize that human misbehaviors are the major problems and conflicts afflicting the success of the canteens. Over these months I have seen canteens struggle based on corruption, hidden agendas, gossip, laziness and lack of motivation among the workers of the group. Especially, I have repeatedly seen how abuse of power and corruption from the presidents of the canteens constantly overwhelm most volunteers and supervisors. For these reason, I would recommend a stronger supervision and training on human dynamics as a necessary measure. Such as having perhaps 3 supervisors in each district and, most importantly, efficient removal of the “bad apples” volunteering (and many times stealing) at the canteens is vital. Alternatively, making more district meetings - instead of general ones - can be more valuable and efficient to the supervisors and interns. Instead of superficially treating them every other Saturday at Dondo; the problems and concerns of each district can be given enough time and can be better resolved with the people directly related to them in district meetings. I also believe that more canteen trainings (such as sustainability, leadership and communication skills) and visits from volunteers to successful canteens; can help canteens gain perspective, vision and understanding of the potential success canteens can have. I can see DIs in this area as a vital part of their work.

It has been highly rewarding to work in ADPP, Mozambique and Cantina de Soja. The project leaders, coordinators, supervisors and interns where welcoming and collaborative. Based on my own initiatives and the ideas and the support many of my coworkers have given me, I have been able to do and learn a lot. I am very happy that my project; in comparison with EPF or Vocational schools, gave me the opportunity to constantly go around and visit different canteens and communities. I feel that this allowed me to get a greater grasp of the impact of the project, poverty and the culture of Mozambique. I feel that working with a big and international organization such as ADPP and, in a very poor country, has given me more knowledge about how to do development work. From now on, I have a deeper understanding of how poverty, corruption, human behavior and lack of education – infrastructure – technology – transportation - organization skills and language affect development. It also has shown me ways to organize people and resources to positively aid communities and people.

I now leave Mozambique and ADPP with a strong desire to continue to do humanitarian work in my country, Ecuador.

Andrea Pérez August 12, 2010

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