South to South Cooperation
December 19th has been declared United Nations Day for South-to-South cooperation. It envisions inclusive development, the sharing of knowledge and resources between southern countries themselves and creating new markets to develop a broader foundation for sustainable economic growth. Humana People to People members participate in various ways in South-to-South Cooperation, one example is the exchange of expertise between different projects, sending qualified and experienced personnel to projects in other countries where specific qualities are needed.
For the last few years, as the number of projects and countries where Humana People to People members are active increases, engineers, project leaders, teacher trainers and others have migrated between projects in different countries. From let´s say Zambia to Malawi is –geographically at least- a minor step, but having African leadership at development projects in Latin America is ´the next level up´ in project management. It is a natural development if one looks at what kind of expertise and experience is needed at some of the projects in Latin America. In some cases projects are near-copies of ones previously executed in Africa, in other cases the specific qualities of project managers, coordinators etc. make them well suited to lead more projects of the same kind, whether in Africa or South-America. We spoke to Angelo Cardoso Massinwana, a 27-year old Mozambican teacher currently working as a project manager at a Humana Child Aid project in Ecuador.
Born in the Mozambican capital of Maputo, Angelo has a long history with Humana People to People. As a child he left his country for Zimbabwe with a dream: to become a teacher in the rural areas of Mozambique, a dream that could be realized following an extended trajectory of ´educational stops´. First there was HPP´s”Campus Africa International School ”, where Massinwana completed 8th till 10th grade, followed by 2,5 years at Maputo´s Teacher Training College, where he got his teacher diploma. His first job was at the Cidadela das Crianças boarding school in Maputo, where a lot of street children and children who have suffered abuse receive shelter and an education. ,,There I gradually got the ambition to do something new. I wanted to keep learning new things and was looking for a big challenge, a project in life”, says the young teacher/manager. ,,I was given a chance to go to Latin America, a fantastic opportunity.” Given the choice between Brazil, where he could use his native Portuguese, and Ecuador, where he could not, Massinwana chose the latter. ,,This way I could learn a new language.” And this he did. When ´negotiating the terms´ for this conversation it took a while before we finally settled on English as the vehicular language instead of Spanish. One day Massinwana sees himself returning to Mozambique. ,,I miss my country, my people and I want to do good for them.” The experience he took with him from Africa has been complemented with close to three years as a Child Aid project manager in El Triunfo. Being abroad for a prolonged period has given Angelo a new perspective on his native Mozambique while his experience of working himself up from a poor background in Africa to a well traveled, internationally oriented development manager influences his view on Ecuador, also a poor country, but much less so than Mozambique. ,,There is no shortage of work in Ecuador. People working on the Banana farms earn $70 to $100 dollars a week. That is a luxury I think. In Mozambique people worry about putting a roof on their house, here people worry about putting a plasma television in their house. People are a lot poorer in Mozambique and have different problems. Life is more of a struggle there. In Mozambique parents worry about food and basic education, in Ecuador they worry about an internet connection. I hope Mozambique can someday reach this level of wealth and I want to contribute to reach that goal.”For more information see: http://www.humana-ecuador.org