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Children’s clubs give knowledge for life

Child marriage, early pregnancies and gender-based discrimination are just some of the rights violations children and young people face in Mozambique today. More than half of all girls are married before the age of 18, and 22 percent of girls say that they have been subjected to violence or abuse.

Mozambique has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS in the world. We know that education is key to changing the situation and empowering children to claim their rights to a life free of the disease. To support this, we established 15 children’s clubs in a number of primary schools in communities where we work, to enhance the students’ knowledge about these subjects.

Every Saturday morning, students from grades five to seven meet at the school to discuss child rights, sexual and reproductive health and the negative aspects of child marriage. They also learn life skills to prepare them for adult life and take part in fun activities such as sports, theatre and play.

Training for children's clubs facilitators
During their training, the facilitators got facilitation skills, took part in hands-on practical exercises, facilitation skills and learned more about the main topics that they would be discussing with the students

The sessions are conducted by 30 youth faciliators, who we trained in partnership with CHOICE for Youth and Sexuality, a Dutch organisation. The 15 men and 15 women, aged 18  to 20, were taught how to facilitate the sessions, were given hands-on practical exercises, and learned more about the topics they would be discussing with the students.

Dinamarcia, one of the children's clubs facilitators
Dinamarcia's goal is to work towards ending child marriage and to advocate for child rights through the children's clubs

Dinamarcia, 20, is one of the facilitators, who attended four of the training sessions.

''I’ve learnt a lot during the trainings,'' she added. ''For example I’ve learned that laughter can be a way to break down barriers and talk about taboo subjects. I also know more about the issues of child marriage. My goal is to work towards ending child marriage and to advocate for child rights through the children’s clubs.''