February 14, 2024

Lorne's School Blogs

Steven's Hope On-Site Visit Report of Macambucuine and Muchisso Schools - February 2024

General Comments:

This visit is the first post-Covid and primarily focused on inspections of our current school structures in Macambucuine and Muchisso, and visits with our key partners. Formal visits were conducted with:

·       Acting Canadian High Commission, Lindsey Partridge

·       Celso Moiane, President, Maputo Rotary Club

·       School Heads, Macambucuine and Muchisso Schools

·       Senior Ministry of Education representatives

·       Community Leaders – Muchisso

Meetings with our partners in Mozambique were productive on many levels, primarily the re-establishment of personal relationships in both sites that will facilitate an easier flow of information, foster a stronger commitment to the projects, and get our building/maintenance plans and actions back on track.

Macambucuine School – Located in the Xai Xai Region

Approximately $2,000.00 in school supplies/teaching materials, cleaning supplies, and soccer balls were purchased in Maputo and delivered to the Macambucuine School. Over three days, the team held several meetings with school leaders, visited classrooms, and conducted a thorough inspection of the infrastructure (separate report). Approximately 1,400students are currently attending Macambucuine, attending in two shifts. While the buildings and grounds are in good condition, the absence of sustainable maintenance funding during the Covid years has created several issues, i.e., water supply issues, broken toilets, windows, doors, eaves troughs, and painting, to name a few of the issues. While not ideal, the condition of the buildings has not negatively impacted their use as classrooms to a significantdegree. Other observations:

·       Campus is in good condition but in need of a significant upgrade

·       The over capacity campus (since 2019) has created issues for classroom groupings but also exacerbated maintenance issues

·       Overcapacity was managed by two actions: grade levels reduced to 1-7 from 1 – 9 and village boundaries were set

·       The attempts to control the student population appear to be working, adding grade 7 back this year with plans to continue expanding grades over the next two years

·       There appears to be sufficient teachers; but a serious lack of teaching and learning materials

·       Limited access to computers and the internet (6-monthsubscription purchased during the visit)

·       Identified need to hire a maintenance person, operating a minimum of 4 days per month


Muchisso School – Located in the Maputo Region

While in Maputo, the visit team from Steven’s Hope had several meetings with our two key partners, the Maputo Rotary and the Canadian High Commission. Both partners are fully engaged in the school construction project, joining us on a visit to the Muchisso School site to meet with school administration, senior Ministry of Education officials, and community leaders. During the visit, the team also conducted an extensive tour of the buildings. Topics discussed with the ministry officials were general, provision of teachers and curriculum supplies, new infrastructure, and lack of support specifically for girls, i.e., incentives for them to stay in school/continue to high school, menstrual support, etc. Unfortunately, there is very little provided at either the community or school level. This issue is of primary interest to the Acting High Commissioner, who will be connecting Steven’s Hope with women’s groups in the area to explore opportunities to provide local support to the girls attending the Muchisso School.

Concerning the addition of new infrastructure and maintenance of existing structures, the Ministry informed the team that they cannot keep pace with the demand for new schools throughout the country, and will not be adding any new infrastructure to the Muchisso site. Community members (a group of women leaders) expressed the community’s appreciation for the support from Steven’s Hope, and asked for additional support specifically for the girls. Other observations from our site visit are as follows:

·       Approximately 2,800 students are attending the Muchisso campus, the majority meeting outside under trees, and on the decks of the current classroom blocks

·       Current infrastructure consists of 3 classroom blocks, a washroom block, and a staff room

·       School is operating in two shifts

·       Structures already onsite are in good condition, some minor maintenance required

·       Desperate need for additional classrooms needed

·       Have one quote from a contractor, $33,000.00 to build one classroom, requested a quote for a minimum 3 classroom block

·       While the students have some books, there is a serious lack of teaching and learning materials at the school

·       No internet service or computers available for the students

·       Desperate need for more classrooms, the priority is right now.




·       Develop a maintenance plan for Macacmbucuine, including funding to hire a maintenance worker

·       Develop a maintenance plan for Muchisso, periodic maintenance at this point as the buildings are in better condition

·       Fundraising to build a 3-classroom block in Muchisso (1/2has been raised)



·       Maintenance funding for both school sites

·       Teaching and learning materials (Portuguese) for both campuses

·       Furniture and equipment – desk, chairs, tables

·       Computers for both school sites


Long-term Muchisso:

o  Fundraising of$45,000 for Phase 2 of Muchisso classroom block

o  Replace staff building at Macambucuine


Long-term - General:

o  Wells – both campuses

o  Replace staff building – Macambucuine

o  Pedagogical partnerships


Report submitted by Dr. Lorne E Parker, CEO and Peter Vician, Chair of the Steven’s Hope Infrastructure Committee. A separate school infrastructure report will be provided by the Infrastructure Committee.

Steven’s Hope Visit to Mozambique – November 2023

Thirty hours after leaving Edmonton, Peter Vician, a Director with Steven’s Hope, and I touched down in Johannesburg on Sunday, the first leg in our journey to visit our schools in Mozambique. A quick sleepover and we were off to Maputo on Monday morning, flying this time to conserve time as we are only here for two weeks. This is our first trip back to Mozambique since Covid hit in 2019.

Upon landing in Maputo, we picked up our rental and started a marathon shopping spree, picking up school supplies from a variety of shops in the City. Tuesday morning, we headed to Macambucuine (Xai Xai region) to visit our first construction project in Mozambique, the Macambucuine School. The journey was uneventful, to a certain degree, having had to talk a local police force out of giving us a bogus speeding ticket just short of the City of Xai Xai.

This morning, Wednesday morning, we headed to the school to drop off our school supplies and meet with school administration. Over the next two days, we will be conducting a complete inspection of the school infrastructure, identifying key areas in need of maintenance. Our first impression, there is a lot of work to do, from completely rebuilding the electrical system to giving all the buildings a fresh coat of paint. Stay tuned as we will update you on our journey to both school sites, Macambucuine and our current construction project in Muchisso, over the next week.