Fellow Since 2004
Associacao Crianca Familia 3 Desenvolvimento
This profile was prepared when Agostinho Mamade was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Very few schools remain in rural Mozambique, and illiteracy is at an all-time high. Many rural Mozambiquians are still deeply traumatized by their wartime experiences and ill-equipped to raise children. They are frustrated that their children do not seem to be learning the proper values and skills from school, but most are disengaged from their children’s education and are unaware of their critical role in the development of their children’s future. Agostinho guides parents through a process of imagining the values and resources they want to instill in their children, and then helps them imagine meaningful ways to turn these ideas into reality. Most notably, Agostinho builds and staffs innovative preschools that take into account the desires of parents and community members and that focus on community child development, not just day care and learning. He has been responsible for the creation of schools that serve five thousand preschoolers in the war-torn rural areas north of Maputo. He keeps community adults actively involved in the schools, where they act as positive role models, and is beginning to train teenagers to teach and care for preschools as well.