We visited small independent projects, big impact projects and everything that we were seen, discovered and learned during that time. As we spent a few days in NHQ where we gathered our thoughts and stories, we agreed on practicalities with the DI (development Instructor) responsible (Moniz) and planned our way to OWU.
The day we arrived in OWU was a holiday and the beginning of the weekend. We were welcomed by some staff and Paulo. The teacher that we will be in close contact with us for our next 3-month stay here. We took advantage of the weekend: cleaned and arranged our living space and took long walks to visit the surroundings.
One World University
For those who have never been here (in OWU), I will say that the Institute is a huge compound, located 12 km away from the closest village (Changalane) in the south of Mozambique, only one walk away from the border with Swaziland. Momentarily the school has 2 groups of students present here, one Pedagogy group and one Community Development group (approximately 60 students in total) and 4 Dis in their Project Period.
After settling, we started planning our introduction to the school and exams with our long distance tutor Farai. We expected to have 4 exams while we will be here, in the meantime, the plan developed and one more exam was added to our schedule.
We are also starting planning our activities in the community around.
So far we had Contemporary World and Health Exams where everyone performed well and passed with high grades. The next exam planned is English that will take place next week, and the last one will be Natural and Environmental Science in the last week of our stay in OWU.
What do we do besides studies?
Our week is usually divided into study days and action days in the village close by (Changalane). There we are renovating a Pedagogical Center belonging to ADPP. ADDP has the scope of offering extra classes to the secondary school students located nearby. After the renovation is complete (next week), we will start English lessons and helping with homework for the students. Also, we will do literacy classes for the community and some computer classes for the ones interested. We received a proposal from ADPP to help painting 70ty primary schools, that they just finished building.
The rest of the time here we spend with practical actions around the school. We do trash picking actions, we built a garden next to the place we live. This week we will harvest our first radish and mustard spinach. We made a firewood saving stove where we already baked our first bread, built a small oven to boil water when the electricity is gone, made benches to relax on and planted flowers. We will also establish a tippy tap, and a drip irrigation system for the garden, system that we already designed and now are gathering materials for.
Also, some of us have finished planning and preparations for the first-ever OWU radio broadcast. They do this together with some of the staff and students from OWU. We are all ready to listen to the one hour broadcast during lunch break time. We have agreed with OWU that all these actions we do around the place to be evaluated by the OWU tutors and count as our Expressive Arts exam.
Another kind of study period
Although our stay here is a short one, I feel that we have accomplished so much already. The focus is solely on study and exams and practically preparing ourselves for the project period with the community actions we do and the practical actions around One World University. The weather is also allowing us to be creative and try out all the ideas we have.
Most of the things we think are possible since we have access to cheap materials, we don’t have budget problems. Our mood is great, and all the students are focused on passing their exams! Just being in the Institute and interacting with students and other staff made One World University a “real thing” for the students!