“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world” – Nelson Mandela
My name is Francesca, I'm from Reggio Calabria, Southern Italy and I live in Copenhagen … while chasing the sun and warm weather 😊!
Living and working in different countries helped me adapt easily to different environments and appreciate life with all its colors.
I love traveling, people, cultures, diversity and I have a strong passion for human rights and positive energy!
I grew-up with a lot of love and care, that inspires me to help others and this is the story of my l💖ve for Africa!
All children should be able to access education with no exception, it’s a basic human right!
Learning in all different forms helps children to train their way of thinking, empower them to grow and develop new skills for a brighter future.
I went to Mozambique for the first time in 2010 for an international cooperation project.
Beside my project as a professor, I was working on my own in the community.
I love to connect with the people of the place I live in. So, I went to teach English very early in the morning at the elementary schools around my place and in the afternoon at the central market. I worked with HIV groups and we used to meet close to the ruins of a school.
There were only 4 wooden poles standing and I asked what it was.
They told me it was an old preschool that was not working anymore since they didn’t have the money to build it and the children were not able to study.
I had some money aside and I knew my family and friends would have loved to help me out, so I went to talk to the chief of the village, Dona Olga, and asked permission to build the school for the children to go back to study.
She was thrilled and gathered all the community in order to start working on it.
With the contribution of a few close friends and family from Italy I started this project and managed to buy all the local material (wood, palm leaves, cement, latrine) to build the school.
The entire community was involved and helped with the construction. It took us a couple of weeks to build everything from scratch and at the end we had a big inauguration party with food, drinks and music for the entire community!
They gave the school my name “Escolinha Comunitaria Francesca”.
The school was built in 2011 and has been functioning since then as a preschool for the children aged 2-5, for extra evening courses for adults and HIV and community groups meetings.
In February 2022 I went to Mozambique for the renovation of the school.
We built 2 separated toilets for both boys & girls, a new covered area for the children to rest and play in the shadow, a locked room to keep all the material safe and a new roof for the main school. Dona Olga is taking care of the kids and making sure the school keeps running.
She is of great support for the escolinha and the entire community, we’ve been in touch since 2011 and we are very close.
The idea has been since the beginning to help them with the construction, which is the biggest economic challenge for the community and then let them self-manage the school.
I never wanted to create dependency, therefore my contribution is only for the construction and renovation of the school, inauguration party of course, school material and presents for the kids.
The kids’ families pay a monthly fee to send the kids to school and the money covers the uniform and the salary for the teachers.
There are currently over 30 kids at the school but it varies depending on the period - we got almost 100 some time ago and they had to split the group in two (one in the morning and one in the afternoon).
My goal is to see more and more kids being able to attend the pre-school in a bigger escolinha that can fit them all at the same time, offering them a meal and create a sustainable self-managed model that can be used in the rural and poor areas to support kids’ education in Mozambique and many other countries!
48% of the children in Mozambique are living in absolute poverty
Child labour percentage in Mozambique is 22%
Child marriage prevalence (<18 years) in Mozambique is 48%
Access to quality early learning services of children between (3-5 yrs) is 5%
Estimated number of children out of school in Mozambique is 1.2 million
(Data Unicef Mozambique)