Education and Poverty
The need for college education is great in Mozambique. Due to extreme poverty, very few Mozambicans have the resources necessary to receive a basic primary education. Even fewer people make it to secondary school or university. Without higher education, most people rely upon subsistence farming to survive, and they continue to experience poverty throughout life. A college education is one of the few paths toward building a prosperous and sustainable future. Unfortunately, this path is often out of reach, especially for children who are orphans.
First Trip to Mozambique
Kay and Jerry Jones first visited Mozambique in 2005. They were part of a mission group that raised funds to build the Carolyn Belshe Orphanage (CBO) in Mozambique, which is now one of MOF’s ongoing projects. During their trip, they visited the newly opened orphanage building and celebrated the completion of this project. Little did they know that this trip would change their lives and the lives of so many orphaned children!
As they spent time at the orphanage, the couple met numerous children who greatly impacted them. Through the relationships that they built, Kay and Jerry realized that college-level education is especially important for children without parents. They recognized that going to college may be one of the only ways for these kids to eventually get jobs and live independently.
Establishing the Education Fund
When Kay and Jerry returned from their trip, they started talking about what it might take to provide college education for all eligible orphans at CBO. They realized that every child deserves the benefits that higher education can provide. With this in mind, they decided to establish an education fund that would provide full scholarships.
After securing a letter of agreement with the Mozambican Bishop, Kay and Jerry established the K&J Education Fund with the United Methodist Frontier Foundation (UMFF) using their own seed money. This set in place a procedure whereby the children could apply for scholarships to financially support their higher education. The K&J Education Fund was a tremendous resource, but with the financial crash of 2008-2009, the sustainability of the fund was compromised. The fund lasted until 2017. At this point, MOF decided to take on and continue funding the K&J Education Fund in order to continue this life-changing work. Education for orphans and vulnerable children is a critical part of MOF’s mission, and this was an amazing opportunity for everyone involved.
Eligibility requirements for any child to receive a scholarship include successful completion of secondary school education, a grade average of at least 13 on a scale of 1-20, residency at the orphanage for at least three years, and a desire to get a four-year degree at an appropriate university.
Meet the Graduates!
Since the beginning of the K&J Education Fund, MOF is thrilled to report that six students who were orphans have graduated from university and have gone on to achieve independent living! Another three students are still in school and will graduate soon, two in 2020, and one in 2021.
We are pleased to introduce you to our recent graduates!
Arlesio was an amazing student and his grades from secondary school were excellent. As a result, he was accepted into Pedagogical University in Maxixe in 2010. Here he studied to be a philosophy teacher. He finished he studies in 2013 and graduated in 2014.
Arlesio was able to get a job teaching philosophy in a city called Massinga in 2015. Massinga is only 40 miles from the orphanage. Within one year, he had saved enough money to build a house and start a life for himself. He is still living in this home today.
Carlos (Charles) graduated from secondary school in 2010. He was accepted at Eduardo Mondlane University in Vilanculos to study civil engineering. Carlos finished his studies in 2014 and graduated in 2015.
At first, Charles was unable to find a job. Many jobs in his field are managed by the Chinese, who have a quid pro quo arrangement with the Mozambique Government. Few Mozambicans are employed in these projects. After two years of looking for a job, Carlos went to work for the agricultural missionary at the Cambine Mission Station where the orphanage is located. He continues to work there to this day.
Castigo graduated from secondary school in 2007 along with two other children from the orphanage, Florencia and Elias. Upon graduation, Castigo first took a number of short courses in English and computer. These courses helped him prepare for college. He was accepted and began his studies in tourism at Eduardo Mondlane University in Inhambane in 2010. He finished his studies in 2013 and graduated in 2014.
It took Castigo about three years to get a job, but he was eventually hired at a resort in Inhassoro. Castigo has been working now for about 2.5 years. He saved his money and is building a house, which is nearly complete.
Elias graduated from Secondary School in 2007, along with Florencia and Castigo. Initially, he took courses in English and computer to prepare for university.
In 2009, Elias took the entrance exam for university, but was not accepted. Elias is very intelligent and personable, but had difficulty with testing and was very discouraged. But Elias persevered! He took the tests once again, and in 2011 he was accepted at Eduardo Mondlane University in Vilanculos to study agricultural economics.
Elias finished his studies in 2014 and graduated in 2015. After some time he was able to get a job at a resort in Northern Inhambane Province, but longed to go back to Vilanculos. Eventually he was able to return there and has a job as a bookkeeper. He built his own house and plans to be married towards the end of 2020.
Florencia graduated from secondary school in 2007. She spent a couple of years preparing for college by taking short courses in English and computer. In 2009, she took the college entrance exam and became the first CBO student to be accepted at a university! Florencia went to Pedagogical University in Maxixe, where she studied to become a history and geography teacher. She was a very good student, finished her studies in 4 years, and graduated in 2013.
Florencia secured a teaching job in the Northern Inhambane Province that same year. Teachers are paid well in Mozambique. Within three years, Florencia was able to build her own house where she still lives today.
Titos graduated from secondary school in 2013. Since childhood, he dreamed of one day becoming a journalist. He did very well in school and qualified for a scholarship. Titos applied and was accepted at Eduardo Mondlane University in Maputo, the capital city of Mozambique, in 2014. Titos did very well, and earned several recognition awards and an internship at the local TV station.
He graduated in 2019, and fully expected that he would get a job as a reporter for the TV station. Unfortunately, there was nothing available at that time. Titos was devastated, and he began looking for any job that would allow him to become independent. After much searching and interviewing, in February 2020 he landed his first real job as a journalist for an American NGO. His dream was realized! He now lives independently in a rental house.
You can provide hope and a sustainable future for orphans in Mozambique. Donate today to help support the K&J Education Fund!