Ohacalala Project

Ohacalala Project: beginnings

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Beginnings

The Ohacalala (“happiness” in Macuan, one of the dialects spoken in Mozambique), promoted in Italy by Cesvitem, is managed by Watana (“unity” in Macuan), a not-for-profit organization founded in 2002 by a number of young Mozambiquans. Among them are five former students of the Escola Industriale de Carapira (EIC), one of the most renowned technical-professional training institutes in Mozambique, redeveloped by Cesvitem in the 1990s after the end of the civil war. Two of these former students (Adolfo Hilario Saquina and Jacinto Vahocha) graduated at the Itis Pacinotti in Mestre, Italy in 2000 with the financial support of Cesvitem. After returning to their country, as well as joining the teaching faculty of EIC, they founded Watana with the purpose to carry out projects in aid of disadvantaged children.

In 2002 Watana carried out a survey in some villages of the Monapo district (Northern Mozambique) where it is based. It verified that more than 3,000 children in the area were living in conditions of severe deprivation. Contributing factors were a high infant mortality rate, a large number of orphans, early school-leaving and the limited economic resources of the families. To help to resolve these problems Watana launched the Ohacalala project, directed at children selected from amongst those most in need.