AfricaWorks was officially registered in Mozambique in February 2008 as a local, non for profit, organization focused on economic development interventions. This came after the World Relief Headquarters came with a final agreement to spinoff the World Relief Mozambique AgriTrade and FCC microfinance programs into the new organization AfricaWorks. The 1st of March 2008 marked the first development activities under AfricaWorks, beginning in Mozambique.
AfricaWorks Mozambique seeks to:
- Establish sustainable agri-based business entities among the marginalized communities.
- Provide financial services to, and support the development of Small to Medium Enterprises (SME’S) along various value chains.
- Provide micro-finance services to the communities most in need.
- Reduce poverty among the vulnerable groups in Mozambique, with the intention of creating wealth and providing economic empowerment.
Opportunity and Challenges
Mozambique is amongst the 20 poorest countries in the world, ranking 172th in the human development index in 2007. Thus AfricaWork’s primary target is Mozambique’s most vulnerable communities–orphan and vulnerable children, people living with HIV/AIDS, child headed households, widows and community volunteers. Currently, 95% of beneficiaries are women. The organization maintains a combined minimum target threshold of 50% for these vulnerable groups.
Prior to working with AfricaWorks, most of these people lived on subsistence farming in drought prone areas, their only relief came from support of family heads working in mines and farms in South Africa or surrounding countries, which inevitably could escalate infection rates of HIV/AIDS amongst the migrant workers and their families. With these high poverty levels, low living standards and increased HIV/AIDS risks among rural communities, it is important that sustainable income generating activities are developed within communities to alleviate and prevent disastrous living standards.
The rural communities involved in the projects, not only participate in, but are also recognized as partners and potential owners, as we intervene by creating their own businesses through projects such as crop production, animal husbandry, micro-finance and coconut oil processing in their own communities. In turn, we hope this will reduce the necessity for migration and a secondary cause of escalating HIV/AIDS together with alleviating their current poor living financial and living standards.