Mozambique

Using participatory research to advance children’s social and economic rights

Wona Sanana was established in 1999 to protect children’s rights by compiling information on the condition of the children of Mozambique after the 16-year civil war. The project combined data-collection on the welfare of children with community education to empower local people to take action and to promote improved policies addressing children’s rights. Through participatory research, communities learned about the problems facing their children and were encouraged to develop unique responses appropriate to the needs or their community.

For more information on "participatory research" tactics, read our in-depth case study.

Combining traditional and Western healing techniques to reintegrate child soldiers into their former communities

Reconstruindo a Esperança (Rebuilding Hope), in Mozambique, combined traditional healing and Western psychology to reintegrate former child soldiers. Thousands of children were used as soldiers by both sides in Mozambique’s devastating civil war. Lucrecia Wamba, a psychologist with Rebuilding Hope, states that “child sol­diers lived through unimaginable horrors and they processed these experiences through the lens of the culture and belief systems of their communities. Their healing necessarily had to be processed through the same lens, in order to achieve both individual rehabilitation and community reintegration.” The organization recognized that neither traditional healing methods nor individualized Western psychology alone would be sufficient to address the needs of the children or the community.

For more information on this tactic, read our in-depth case study.

Complementary Strengths: Western Psychology and Traditional Healing

Someone performing a dramatizationRebuilding Hope saw the need for an integrated healing process that would allow families and communities to accept child soldiers from Mozambique back into their lives.  Acknowledging that traditional healers are often the first people community members approach when they need help, Rebuilding Hope psychologists approached the healers as well as other community leaders to be project partners.

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