Supporting internally displaced youth in Mozambique
Since 2017, conflict and violence in the Cabo Delgado region in Northern Mozambique has pushed an estimated 745,000 people into displacement. Many have had to flee their homes multiple times, leaving the conflict and repeated displacement to destroy livelihoods, disrupt markets and essential services across the hardest-hit districts.
To support internally displaced populations (IDPs), SNV Mozambique through the Value Chains Development and Employment Opportunities for Youth project has been working in 33 communities since 2021 in the districts of Montepuez, Balama and Namuno to promote economic resilience in agriculture. Funded by the Kingdom of the Netherlands and supported by the Cabo Delgado provincial government, the project aims to improve the economic status of IDPs, reduce social pressure and support host communities. Using SNV’s Opportunities for Youth Employment (OYE) approach, the project supports youth to find self-employment opportunities and develops their agricultural capacity therefore helping increase agricultural productivity and improving livelihoods.
The project targets youth aged between 18 and 30 years old who have been displaced from various parts of Cabo Delgado, with emphasis on Mocímboa da Praia, Muidumbe and Macomia districts. Many have lost their possessions, family members and now reside in Montepuez, Balama or Namuno districts in the hope of starting a new life.
To help kickstart their learning and employment journeys, the young people received agricultural input kits through the OYE project consisting of certified vegetable seeds, fertilizers, pesticides, watering cans, sprayers, hoes, machetes, among other agricultural materials. Since many of the youth come from coastal regions in Mozambique and have no experience in the agricultural sector, SNV provides technical assistance on new agricultural technologies with an emphasis on conservation farming techniques as well as support in linking up with local businesses to market their products.
‘I was born in Muidumbe and came to Montepuez because I was fleeing the conflict. I used to be a fisherman and was used to working at sea, but today with the OYE project I am learning to work in agriculture’, says Augusto Agostinho, a 20-year-old displaced man from Muidumbe district. ‘I have already learned how to prepare the land, make flowerbeds and irrigation techniques. I can't wait to start harvesting the produce from the farm and to be able to build a new house for my family' he added.
The project brings a market approach with a strong focus on creating economic opportunities for youth and women in high potential agricultural value chains, like soy and horticulture, while building and promoting social cohesion between displaced populations and host communities. The project supported more than 1,200 IDP families since its inception in 2021, and aims to reach an additional 1,500 families of displaced youth living in host communities in Montepuez by the end of 2022.