Humana People to People

Humana People to People

Rural Women and Girls are key in Building Climate Resilience


‘Rural women represent the backbone of many communities, but they continue to face obstacles that prevent them from realizing their potential. The devastating impacts of climate change add to their hardship,’ says the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Each 15th of October the world commemorates the International Day of the Rural Women. Humana People to People values the importance of the rural women as they make a frontline of agents of change in pushing for creation of development. In 2019 the day is being marked under the theme: ‘Rural Women and Girls Building Climate Resilience.”

Women account for a substantial proportion of the agricultural labour force, including informal work, and perform the bulk of unpaid care and domestic work within families and households in rural areas. They make significant contributions to agricultural production, food security and nutrition, land and natural resource management, and building climate resilience.

Even so, women and girls in rural areas suffer disproportionately from multi-dimensional poverty. While extreme poverty has declined globally, the world’s 1 billion people who continue to live in unacceptable conditions of poverty are heavily concentrated in rural areas. Poverty rates in rural areas across most regions are higher than those in urban areas. Yet smallholder agriculture produces nearly 80 per cent of food in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa and supports the livelihoods of some 2.5 billion people – UN FAO 2018. Women farmers may be as productive and enterprising as their male counterparts, but are less able to access land, credit, agricultural inputs, markets and high-value agri-food chains and often obtain lower prices for their crops.


strong woman


The impacts of climate change, including on access to productive and natural resources, amplify existing gender inequalities in rural areas. Climate change affects women’s and men’s assets and well-being differently in terms of agricultural production, food security, health, water and energy resources, climate-induced migration and conflict, and climate-related natural disasters.

Humana People to People engages women and girls in its community-based, people driven and people-led social development activities which are mostly responding to strengthening families and communities’ cohesion in improving the conditions of children and equipping farmers with farming skills which ensure food security. Development focus is on empowering the girls and women to gain skills through trainings, to depend on their capacity through awareness raising and utlisation of available resources to support a better life and to work as a collective force in problem solving and identifying opportunities worth exploiting.


happy farmer


By, taking an active role in responding to women’s rights upholding in rural communities the members of Humana People to People thus are implementing various initiatives all centered on addressing effects of poverty, saving lives, building a resilient community against climate shock and imparting skills and techniques vital to improve livelihoods. In India, Mozambique, Congo, D.R., Zambia, Malawi, Belize and South Africa women are working with Humana People to People members through village based clubs were they learn about sexual reproductive health, climate smart agriculture, internal savings and lending schemes, entrepreneurship skills and how to avoid sexual relationships with older men. The initiatives are supporting women and girls in improving the livelihoods of rural women and providing them with the knowledge and tools which enable them to make firm decisions and become equal participants in formulation of household decisions and development agenda of their communities.

Education is thus, integrated in all the initiatives as it plays a key role in improving literacy – as the reading and numeracy skills support effective adoption of government services and general increase on gender equality awareness.

World Teachers Day: The solution to the global learning crisis lies in quality teacher training

03 training girls to read

Globally, approximately 617 million children and adolescents, which is over 55% of the global total, lacked minimum proficiency in reading and maths in 2015. This is despite two-thirds of this group attending school, where they did not become proficient because they either dropped out or did not learn basic skills.

Although commendable strides have been made in the number of children attending school, proficiency rates remain unacceptably low.

This global learning crisis not only hinders an individuals’ ability to break out of poverty, but it stalls the upward socioeconomic mobility of nations as they struggle to compete in a highly complex and competitive global economy.

Noteworthy progress has been made towards achieving Sustainable Development Goal 4 – to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all – but important steps remain.

One fundamental step towards the goal of good quality education for all is getting enough trained teachers into classrooms. Teachers are the most critical factor in student learning outcomes, so a shortage of well-qualified teachers jeopardises the quality, inclusiveness and equity of education.

02 a DNS Congo teacher during teaching practise


This issue is starkest in sub-Saharan Africa, where although enrolment has increased, 88% of children of primary and lower secondary school age lacked proficiency in reading, and 84% lacked basic mathematical skills.

Since opening its first teacher training college in Maputo, Mozambique, in 1993, Humana People to People has been committed to meeting the educational needs in the countries in which it operates. Humana’s focus is on training teachers to become skilled, competent educators, who see themselves as agents of change within the wider community and strive to foster curiosity, critical thinking skills and openness to life-long learning in younger generations.

Our teachers also mainly take up and retain positions in rural communities, answering the teacher gap in remote and hard-to-reach areas. In Malawi, the majority of our teachers are located in rural areas, responsible for classes of around 100 children. Our approach to training, which focuses on both academic and practical skills, means teachers are equipped to develop and deliver inclusive structures for children at disparate grade levels.

Due to the emphasis on building both knowledge and citizenship, our teachers often play a major role in these communities, helping to build latrines, wells and houses. Teachers work with communities to address sanitation problems, identify out-of-school children or assist with emergency work after floods.



Over the years we have found that this holistic approach to teacher training instils a sense of pride in our teachers, which has resulted in a decline in absenteeism and improved education systems in the communities in which the graduates have served.

We believe that quality education is a core component of sustainable development and that a number of the globe’s most pressing issues – poverty, inequality, climate change – will only be overcome through holistic action, which includes the provision of an inclusive and quality learning experience.



There is cause for celebration today, on World Teachers Day, as important strides have been made in improving education rates globally. However, as school enrolment grows, more emphasis must be placed upon the quality of education. Currently, standardised testing and streamlining of curricula do not take into account the reality of education levels. We would like to see the needs of the children at the centre of educational policies, as well as well-trained teachers who can adapt to meet the individual needs of children, committed to unlocking their student’s interest and energy for learning.

By Snorre Westgaard, Chairman of the global international development charity, Humana People to People (HPP). HPP is a federation of 30 locally registered and managed non-governmental organizations active in 45 countries on 5 continents.


Young Teachers are the future of professions

DNS 400 village schools


Humana People to People salute teachers who continue daily to discharge their professional duties under difficult conditions in most of the least developed countries. On this World Teachers’ Day, Humana People to People joins the rest of the world to thank teachers and to call for more, better trained and supported teachers.

In 2019, the World Teachers Day is being marked under the theme Young Teachers: The Future of the Professions. The future success of children, young people and the societies in which they live depend on schools and the teachers. Teachers hold the keys to a better future for all.

Nothing can replace a good teacher. Evidence shows that teachers, their professional knowledge and skills are the most important factor for quality education. This requires stronger training upfront and continual professional development and support, to strengthen performance and learning outcomes. Yet, far too often, a teacher remain under-qualified and poorly paid, with low status, and excluded from education policy matters and decisions that concern and affect them.

Teachers inspire, challenge, empower, innovate and help to nurture responsible global citizens. They get children into school, keep them there and help them learn. Every day, they help to build the inclusive knowledge societies we need for tomorrow and the century ahead. Teachers are a key ingredient in the attainment of the many transformations set in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.


 MG 6689


The international education community has pledged to achieve universal primary and secondary education by 2030 as part of Sustainable Development Goal 4 (SDG 4). However, about 258.4 million children and youth are out of school, according to UNESCO Institute of Statistics of 2018 data. In October 2016, UNESCO developed global projections of the number of teachers needed to achieve the goal. The estimations indicated that by 2030, countries must recruit a total of 68.8 million teachers: 24.4 million primary school teachers and 44.4 million secondary school teachers. Clearly, SDG 4 demands a seismic shift in the provision of quality of education and trained teachers.

Humana People to People took a decision to invest in training primary school teachers, in early 1990ies, after taking note of the high illiteracy levels affecting by then several countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Thus the first decision to partner with the national government of Mozambique saw the implementation of the first Teacher Training College. The success of the teacher training model, gave birth to an expansion of the colleges now present in Angola, Congo D.R., Guinea-Bissau, Malawi, Zambia and as far as India. Counting from the beginning, more than 42,000 primary school teachers have been trained as qualified teachers at 53 teacher training colleges being run by members of Humana People to People.

The objective of the teacher training colleges is to develop a special teacher, one uniquely qualified to become an agent of change in a local school and the larger community. The challenges of teaching primary grades in Africa and India are many fold, particularly in rural areas. There are often minimal resources upon which to rely and large numbers of students per classroom. A resourceful teacher becomes effective in devising child-centered teaching approaches which help to trigger children’s interest in the learning process.

Humana People to People teacher training programme helps students to take responsibility for their education and supports them in achieving their goals. Along with standard pedagogical topics, the curriculum includes life skills training and the development of 21st century skills; critical thinking, collaborative working skills, and the ability to utilize information and communications technology. The aim is to nurture teachers, who are readily equipped to increase learning, bring about change, and foster widespread development.

Hands-on training is also a core component of the programme, and student teachers obtain teaching practice in local schools from the very start. Each of the colleges make arrangements with between five to nine nearby primary schools to provide training classrooms for the student teachers.

No matter where it is implemented, the Humana People to People teacher training curriculum is adapted to meet a country’s educational requirements and its national standards of teacher training.

 Launching the Humana People to People Progress Report 2018 

Progress Report cover 2018 

The Federation Humana People to People (Humana People to People) is excited and proud to release its Humana People to People Progress Report 2018, demonstrating the value of its work. 

The report provides an insight into the work of Humana People to People and its 30 member associations over the past year, including the shared commitment to attain impact, accountability and transparency.

Interestingly, the report shows how simple, strong and low-cost development concepts can be taken to scale when they build on the strength of the many people who take a lead in improving their own conditions. 

In 2018, working across five continents, members of the Federation Humana People to People implemented projects in sustainable agriculture and environment, community development, health and education in 1,134 project units. These projects reached more than 9.5 million people and represent a vital contribution to reducing the effects of poverty and supporting communities to address some of the world’s most significant humanitarian and development challenges.

Some case studies contained in the Progress Report highlight how Humana People to People approach to development is transforming lives. Thus the Humana People to People community based and people-driven project design remains key in creating lasting development. 

The UN 2030 Agenda continues to guide the activities undertaken by Humana People to People and its members. Humana People to People will continue striving to help countries meet their Sustainable Development Goals, in the hope of alleviating suffering ad creating lasting positive change. 

4,000 people attend Africa Day themed Open Sunday


Humana People to People commemorated a belated Africa Day on 26th of May through an Open Sunday. The occasion saw about 4,000 people from Shamva and Bindura districts coming to Murgwi Farm and Community Centre as they celebrated the significance of the day to Africa. Peace building, stability and development was the key message.

May 25 2019 marked 56 years since Africa Day was conceived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Africa Day is the annual commemoration of the foundation of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now known as the African Union, in 1963. The OAU's original mission was to bring freedom to African countries that were still under colonial rule in the 60s, defend their sovereignty, uphold human rights and restore the dignity of the African people.



Nowadays, Africa Day is a national holiday in a handful of countries and is widely celebrated by Africans - but what does it mean in a modern age? It means promoting peace, harmony and cultural diversity as it means pursing shared continental economic development. There still remain various social and economic challenges which Africa faces from climate induced natural disasters, fighting major diseases to building capacity of small-scale farmers, fighting inequalities among others.

Humana People to People has for years been engaged with development work in Angola, Botswana, Congo D.R., Guinea Bissau, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Zambia and Zimbabwe. At its Humana People to People headquarters in Shamva, Zimbabwe a monthly interactive occasion called Open Sunday has for a long time been used to reach out to thousands of people to educate them about development.

Thus, in celebrating Africa Day people came to Murgwi Farm and Community Centre and were informed about the importance of peace, stability and development. Several exhibitions showcased various development initiatives being done by Humana People to People, government departments, local stakeholders and private companies.


The guest speaker was the District Administrator for Shamva, Mr. Nkoma. His message emphasized the importance of peace building, maintaining political stability and promotion of development in Africa. He said, “We must also sustain the understanding that our own progress and prosperity is dependent on the progress and prosperity of our neighbours and other African countries. This means that we must remain firm in our commitment to work hard to achieve the goal of the renewal of our continent, understanding that again in this instance, an injury to one is an injury to all.”


The District Administrator in his speech pledged for the upholding of the renewal of Africa so it does not fail on its promise. “We also join other Africans to renew our pledge to work together for the rebirth and renewal of the African continent and the advancement of Africans wherever they may be,” he said.

Aleck Macheso, a popular musician who sings “sungura music” entertained the bumper crowd some of whom walked 10 kilometres to grace the event. The entertainment is a key part of each Open Sunday, which has become an integral component of Murgwi Farm and Community Centre’s community education, relationship building and development inspiration.