Handicap International is helping restore the land and the livelihoods of the people affected by landmines in Mozambique. The organization also supports local disabled people’s organizations and inclusive literacy programs. Currently, 56 national staff and three expatriate staff work in Mozambique.
Since 1986, Handicap International has worked in Mozambique responding to issues resulting from the country’s 25-year long civil war. Since peace agreements were signed in 1992, Mozambique has embarked on a series of political, economic, and administrative reforms. The country is recovering rapidly thanks to economic growth, backed by the international community and private investment. However, the biggest threat to stable growth is the rampant spread of HIV/AIDS, poor sanitary conditions, and a very low standard of education.
For nearly ten years, teams of Handicap International deminers and specially trained dogs were used to clear landmines. This program ended as the country declared itself mine-free in September 2015. From the start of demining operations in 1998, Handicap International was a key mine actor in Mozambique. Over a period of 17 years, the organization demined more than 16 million square meters of land, and neutralized 6,000 anti-personnel mines and 5,000 explosive remnants of war using a demining process combining people, dogs, and machines.
Improving the quality of life for survivors of mine accidents and their families has been a major goal of Handicap International. By performing a mine survivor needs assessment and promoting a victim aid plan, Handicap International has assisted more than 14 districts throughout the provinces Maputo, Inhambane and Sofala, eight NGOs, and various service providers in reducing the poverty of victims and improving their quality of life. Handicap International is currently helping stakeholders craft a national action plan to address the ongoing needs of mine survivors. The organization also conducts training for people with disabilities to help them access social services and effectively seek jobs.
SUPPORT FOR DISABLED PEOPLE’S ORGANIZATIONS
Handicap International teams have improved the effectiveness of two social support centers by teaching members how to apply for funding and implement specific projects. Teams focused on providing mobility aids and various social services, improving facility accessibility, and raising awareness to develop a more equitable, open-minded society over all. Handicap International continues to work with and empower disabled persons organizations in its projects in Mozambique.
THESE PROJECTS ARE POSSIBLE THANKS TO HANDICAP INTERNATIONAL DONORS, AND THE FOLLOWING FUNDING BODIES:
Handicap International's previous work in Mozambique has included:
Handicap International promoted literacy among people with disabilities by creating inclusive adult reading centers and supporting the “literacy for everyone” campaign on the local and national levels. More than 140,000 people and 200 professional educators benefited from these efforts.
Advocacy through the arts:"INCLURATE"
To promote social participation of people with disabilities in Mozambique, Handicap International curated an annual, multidisciplinary show (dance, music, theater) with a company including people with disabilities, non-professional and professional artists, from different origins.
On June 24, 2014, a dance and musical show was organized to teach the importance of fully including people with disabilities in society. The audience included delegates from States Parties to the Ottawa Treaty (Mine Ban Treaty) that were attending the Third Review Conference in Maputo.
Watch the 2014 "Inclurate" performance here.