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December 15 2011 | MOZAMBIQUE

Development and Human Rights in Africa

The progress of the birth registration campaign in Mozambique

 
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Mozambico, programma registrazione anagrafica Sant'Egidio- i certificati dinascita In Mozambique, Mecuburi district, the registration is proceeding with great success.

This time it's Intatatapila's turn: in recent months the Bravo! mobile team has been going around in various localidade (villages) and aldeia in the district of Mecuburi to register children and parents. At Intatapila the registration took place under a large tree whose branches give a little refreshment in this hot season, during the long wait.

People arrive early in the morning after a few miles' trip on foot or by bike for the lucky ones. This is a holiday period, so schools are closed and the mothers bring all their children to be registered. Many families number up to 8 children. If one of the children is sick at home or has gone to work in the machamba (the field) or to take water from the well, the mother comes back the next day, going over several kilometers on foot, to register the last child, because she doesn't want to miss this opportunity. 

Mozambican law on civil status does not allow registration without the presence of the child. Ancha, a young woman with 4 children, came three times to register them all. She said "I thank God because I would not have had the money to pay the late registration of my children and they would not be able to go to school. Thanks!" The spoken language is Macua (a local dialect) because almost no one knows Portuguese, and many of the names and surnames are Macua.

Every morning at the arrival the team finds under the tree so many people, sometimes more than one hundred, who are eager to talk. The mothers ask many questions, they have a great desire to understand, in order to help their children. The registration of the children is a great opportunity to get together and to rest for one morning under the tree!

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