“ABC of Health books for Mozambique”

Thanks to the Staff Association’s Long-Term Collections Committee, primary and secondary school children in Mozambique will now have access to the "ABC of Health" books, of which the printing and distribution costs were fully covered by the Long-Term Collections.

On October 2nd, Marilena Streit-Bianchi, a CERN honorary member, visited University of Lurio in Mozambique accompanied by Prof. Francisco Noa, Rector of the University and Júlio Mendes, Provincial Director of Education and Human Development, to present these illustrated books to the national authorities, press and television.

Marilena explained more precisely, the objectives of the project: “ABC da Saúde” are two books written in Portuguese, one for the elementary school children and the second one more exhaustive for high school children, whose realisation has been made possible thanks to the two-year volunteering work of several teachers from the University of Lurio Nutrition Course in Nampula (Carla Ganhao, Elisabete Catarino, Sofia Costa, Sandrine Couto et Arthur dos Santos), professional graphic designers from the international company "Quadient" (Yulia Makeeva and Iya Kryukova) and the Nampula artist Justino António Cardoso, who illustrated the books.

In addition to teaching children to read and write, these books provide insights into the practices of healthy eating. For each letter of the alphabet, 3 to 5 words were selected and explained. Each word refers to either nutrition or health with the objective to familiarise children with disease prevention and behaviour promoting health, hygiene and the protection of the environment.

Our primary intention when designing these books, as explained by Marilena, was to make them available, free of charge to primary school children in order to have a real impact from a long-term perspective, especially among the underprivileged children attending public schools. 

Anyone who has access to the Internet can also download these books for free in Mozambique but also in all Portuguese-speaking countries.

The ABC-books were distributed to three schools in Nampula City, to various elementary schools within the region and to girls' school in Gorongosa, Sofala Province.

The copies of the “ABC da Saúde Ensino secundário” were printed thanks to the financial support of the Quadient company and will be distributed by the teachers of the University of Lúrio during the nutrition campaigns, which are organised regularly in the cities and villages in the North of the country.

Thanks to the support offered by the Health Counsellor at the Permanent Mission of Mozambique to the United Nations, another distribution will also take place in the province of Maputo. Copies of the book were sent to H.E. Minister of Health, H.E. Minister of Education and to the rector of the Pedagogical University of Maputo so as to provide further information to teachers.

There is also provision for a second edition in order to continue the distribution in schools in Nampula Province and Nacala and to provide 200 copies for each school with fewer resources.

The project will come to an end in mid-2019, by which time the Mozambican government will be in a position to take over and print even more copies of the two books. This will ensure the continuity and make them known across the country and in other Portuguese-speaking African countries.

It is only a drop in an ocean but as mentioned by the Rector of the University of Lúrio during the presentation of the books "all projects related to education are noble because this is what will shape our future citizens ".

Thanks to the Long-Term Collections Committee, many children in Mozambique have already learned to read and write with such attractive books.

I warmly invite you to get to know their work and give them your support.


by Staff Association