The Towards Abundant Life Program is implemented by the Diocese Missionaria de Nampula in Mozambique. The project has been running since 2011, funded through the Australian Government’s Australian NGO Cooperation Program (ANCP) as well as from donations in Australia.
The project has been working to improve health knowledge, health-seeking behaviour, and health access through the development of volunteers as change agents within their own communities. In addition to creating volunteer networks, the project has been supporting the development of savings groups and sweet potato crop diversification.
The project has focussed on HIV/AIDS education and prevention, and has expanded to include activities that increase basic health knowledge in areas of malaria, prevention of diarrheal diseases, agricultural activities that aim to improve nutrition, and the piloting of savings groups. Activities that aim to reduce early marriage and increase girls’ education levels are also being incorporated.
The purpose of this evaluation is to examine the success of the program goals and activities, and to make recommendations for the next phase to strengthen the program.
Despite the challenges that COVID-19 has presented in the course of producing the evaluation, the study findings show the value of AOA’s work in Mozambique, positively impacting people’s lives. There has been a perceived improvement in the health of communities as a result of community members applying the health messages to their everyday lives. Community members have been more likely to attend local health posts when ill, have improved hygiene, know how to prevent and treat diseases, and recognise the importance of HIV/AIDS testing. Women reported that nutritional advice led to improved health of their children, and the savings groups were helping them to save and pay for expenses. The sweet potato crops have also led to improved incomes and nutrition for families.
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