Research commissioned by the Swiss Development Cooperation SDC.
The study about the situation of young people and their affiliation to culture in rural areas of Mozambique and is based on fieldwork carried out in the districts of Nangade (Cabo Delgado), Mossurize (Manica) and Chókwe (Gaza) in 2006. The aim was to illuminate and understand the significance of culture and cultural activities for young people (12-24 years), including an assessment of the state of local traditional culture and the degree of exposure of people to imported, global culture. It also looked at the psychosocial situation of youth in three districts and makes suggestions of how culture can contribute to the management of problems and risks of young people. The study is primarily based on the perception of young people themselves, their view of their culture, identities and living situation.
Youth in rural Mozambique face harsh living situations and difficult prospects for the future. They are more in touch with the modern world outside their village than their parents and grandparents but also find themselves living in communities that are about to lose a big part of their traditions and customs. Thus they have to deal with instable social structures and contrasting ethic principles. At the same time they want to play an active role in a modern society but without money nor job, trust or social support they are very likely to fail. Many of them thus suffer from a considerable amount of emptiness, frustration and anger. A part from punctual interventions, especially HIV/AIDS-prevention campaigns, young people are left alone with their problems and questions. A part of the continuous improvement of the education systems and rural development, youth empowerment through creative work and the strengthening of local cultures could bring about positive and sustainable changes in HIV/AIDS-prevention, gender equity, self-employment of youth and community development.
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