March 14, 2016
Written by USAID Mozambique Programa Para o Futuro (PPF) Team, FHI 360
At age 16, Francisco Ganijo was leading a life of destruction. “I was drinking and skipping school. I didn’t know right from wrong,” Francisco admits. His mother had recently passed away and his father had died many years before, leaving Francisco to live with only his siblings. Like far too many young orphans in Mozambique, Francisco spent much of his time feeling sad, hopeless, and without any dreams for the future.
Francisco needed school desperately. “Being at school helped me avoid thinking about all of sad things in my life, and it was the only place that I felt equal to my peers,” he said. By the time Francisco had reached 10th grade, however, he could no longer find the money to cover the many costs Mozambican students incur in school. Unable to pay annual registration and testing fees, Francisco was going to have to drop out.
Just in time, Francisco was chosen to participate in Programa Para o Futuro (PPF), an integrated youth program implemented through FHI 360’s Capable Partner’s Program with funding from USAID/PEPFAR. PPF helps orphaned and vulnerable youth (OVC) ages 15-17 develop the skills, knowledge and behaviors to transition into healthy, productive adults. A requirement of participation in PPF is continuing with school, and the program secured the fee waivers necessary to allow Francisco to keep studying.