Maputo, July 5, 2017
Gorongosa National Park (PNG) and Millennium bim signed a partnership agreement in the city of Maputo yesterday, within Gorongosa's Business Club, which was created three years ago. The Club is an initiative of the Park that has been encouraging and involving the Mozambican business community (operating in Mozambique) in a noble effort to restore one of the most iconic Parks in Africa and in the world, since it’s inception. Millennium bim thus assumed its membership commitment to honor this agreement for the next 5 years with the main focus being to support GNP in the "Girls' Clubs" Education Program. The Gorongosa business club already has 24 institutional members.
As part of the signing of this partnership agreement, José Reino da Costa, President of the Executive Committee of Millennium BIM, said: "Millennium bim has been supporting Gorongosa National Park over the years through continuous work on the ground, such as the construction of the Nhancuco Primary School in the Park in 2008, which allowed 500 students to attend an educational establishment, as well as offering school material and books to all its students in 2011, thus contributing to improving the learning conditions of these children.
In addition, Millennium bim’s attentiveness to environmental problems, such as the decrease and extinction of some animal species, intends to sensitize the young to the importance of biodiversity conservation, through these education programs.
Gorongosa National Park is currently one of the planet's most biodiverse sites, where a number of projects are being developed to restore the ecosystem, support local communities in their socio-economic development and to create a sustainable tourism industry.
With this partnership Millennium bim will support the development of a project recognized as an exemplary example of nature conservation creating opportunities for local populations. "
Mateus Mutemba, Gorongosa National Park and José Reino da Costa, Millennium bim, with the Gorongosa Business Club
"I congratulate and thank Millenium bim for their decision to join the Gorongosa Business Club and for their choice to support an area that addresses the development of human capital," said Mutemba, one of the priorities that the Government of Mozambique expressed in PQG 2015-19: to increase girls' participation in school and to reduce preterm marriages. In GNP we translate this strategic vision into the girls' education program, an extra-curricular program that currently involves 17 schools and 239 girls in the buffer zone of the Park.
In "Girls' Clubs", adolescent girls can focus on reading, studying natural sciences (going on study visits to Gorongosa Park), participating in recreational activities (including practicing sports), learning about personal safety, health, nutrition and family planning. Girls will also get acquainted with life stories of successful women through books, movies and stories and will personally meet some of them. “
About Millennium bim
The largest Mozambican financial group, has marked the pace of growth of the banking sector. In the process of banking the Mozambican economy, the Bank is present in all provinces of the country and today has a vast network of branches, one of the largest ATM and POS networks, and with the contribution of its 2,500 employees serving more than 1,6 million customers. Millennium bim is the first Mozambican bank present in the ranking of the 100 largest banks of Africa, occupying the 56th position.
About "More Mozambique for Me"
In order to strengthen its role in the field of social action, Millennium bim created the "More Mozambique for Me" social responsibility program in 2006, with the following main objectives:
- carry out a project that serves as an example for civil society on its merits, usefulness and social relevance;
- captivate, attract and involve all partners who are involved in the project;
- to value life in Mozambique and stimulate the ability to dream, to overcome and to fulfill their dreams.
About the "Education Program" Girls' Clubs "
Girls are disproportionately affected by poverty. This new GNP initiative addresses their education, girls' personal safety, nutrition and access to family planning.
Forty percent (40%) of Mozambican teenage girls between the ages of 15 and 19 are already mothers. (This is a national average and is significantly higher in rural areas.) 1/3 Of this group gets pregnant before the age of 15. Girls and young women constitute 71% of new HIV infections among adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa.
About 70% of Mozambican women are illiterate. Illiterate women have few opportunities for employment outside the home. This number rises to 81% in the rural areas surrounding Gorongosa National Park.
Empowering adolescent girls and young women to protect their health and well-being is critical to achieving the world we want and meeting the Global Goals to end extreme poverty, which 192 nations adopted last year.
Young women and girls face unique barriers, both social and structural. These include lack of basic education, discrimination and gender-based violence that make them especially vulnerable to HIV / AIDS. But we can change this. And we should, because every girl deserves a healthy life in which she is enabled to reach her potential.
Before Level 7 (often in Level 5), many families remove their daughters from school to marry an older man (who may already have several wives). Soon afterwards they may become pregnant; and / or can become HIV +.
However, girls who stay in school (and have access to the opportunities provided by education) can avoid such a fate. (Teenage girls who finish their primary school education are 64 percent more likely to get pregnant compared to those in the same age bracket, if they continue to study.) "Girls' Clubs" meet every day, after school, for several hours. (The school often ends at noon and so the entire afternoon is available.)
In "Girls' Clubs," adolescents can focus on reading, studying natural sciences (going on field trips to Gorongosa Park), participating in recreational activities, learning about personal safety, health, nutrition, and family planning. Girls will hear about successful women through books, movies and stories and will personally meet some of them. They will have short-term internships in health centers and local businesses to develop their self-confidence and demonstrate to the community as a whole that girls and women can contribute to society.
Older girls will take on rotating leadership roles within the Club - organizing events, drawing up reports of attendance and activities, turning themselves into role models for the girls. If a girl stops attending school, Club leaders will visit their homes to gather information. If parents are reluctant to send their daughters back to school, Club leaders will report the situation to community leaders (often a group of mothers meeting in a "Women's Club" that supports the "Girls Club"), and who can intercede.
The "Girls' Clubs" are led by two Mozambican "Volunteers for Gorongosa Services" who have completed high school and are preparing for college. They receive a scholarship and must also focus on their own personal growth for one or two years of service (there will be tutors who will provide math, science and language courses in the Park).