Community video helps convince parents of the value of sending their children to school
As part of the USAID-funded Apoiar a Ler project for Nampula (there is a sister project for Zambezia), h2n trained community members in Mecuburi and Lalaua districts in community video production this month. The project aims to strengthen parental involvement and community engagement for bilingual education and early grade reading. “Our problem here in the district is that many parents prefer to send their children to the field to work rather than to the school to learn,” says Suzana Alberto, one of the Mecuburi community video group members. “The videos help us convince the parents of the importance of letting the child go to school.”
As part of the process, which involves creating a story line and filming a video that will be shown in the wider community, the group reflected on barriers and behaviors related to school attendance. “I am an example of early marriage,” says Ana Pedro, one of the participants. “My parents forced me to marry when I was 13 – now I have five children and my man has abandoned me.” Ana says that she will do everything in her power to ensure that her children go to school and study. “A key challenge for us is that many, perhaps most, parents don’t understand why the children should go to school, as they rarely see it as something useful,” says Ana Macuacua, the h2n project coordinator. “We want to provide parents with an opportunity to think about the issue, to understand the purpose and the benefit of sending their children to school.” The community videos are produced by mothers and fathers who feel passionate about schooling, and they convey this passion in the story they produce and later share with the rest of the community. “Almost everyone agreed with our point of view after [watching the video together],” says Ana.
The project is implemented by a consortium led by ADPP that also includes h2n and local partners. h2n works with community-based communication, produces television programs and videos, organizes youth centers and pursues a comprehensive gender equality agenda.