Associação Progresso launches new children's magazine

February 3, 2012

In December 2011, CODE's partner in Mozambique, Associação Progresso, launched Gira Sol, the first and only children's magazine in the country. The magazine is published as part of the "Promotion of a Literate Environment in Mozambique" (PLEM) project funded by CODE and the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA). Below is the English translation of an article written in Portuguese about the event, which was attended by CODE's Executive Director Scott Walter and Chair Judy Hauserman.

Associação Progresso urges teachers to encourage a love of reading
 
Maputo, Dec 09 – Associação Progresso, a non-governmental organization (NGO) in Mozambique, which mainly supports rural communities, advocates for teachers, especially primary school teachers, to have a taste for reading so that they can in turn encourage their students to read.
 
Progresso believes that “an educated Mozambique is a Mozambique that reads,” and it is in primary school where a reading environment should be promoted.
 
According to Progresso’s executive director, Elisabeth Sequeira, one of the current challenges has to do with the need to encourage teachers to embrace a culture of reading for themselves so that they can teach their students to love reading too.
 
“We need to encourage teachers to like to read, because if they do not like to read, they will not be able to make their students enjoy reading,” said Sequeira in Maputo on Thursday during the launch of Progresso’s children’s magazine Gira Sol.
 
Sequeira explained that for 20 years,  Progresso has been working on promoting a reading environment.  The children’s magazine is the latest initiative to fit with this goal.  Progresso has been publishing books and magazines of various kinds and now they have a added the children’s magazine.
 
Their activities, according to Sequeira, are supported by CODE and other partners such as OXFAM and the Norwegian Embassy.
 
Since 2003, Progresso has created a publishing branch to respond to the need to translate Portuguese books into local languages because of bilingual education.
 
Progresso then distributes free books to schools in the northern provinces of Niassa and Cabo Delgado, as the project funded by the Government of Canada covers only these two parts of the country.
 
Thus, Progresso is continuing to mobilize additional funding possibilities for the project to cover initiatives in the other provinces of Mozambique.
 
Speaking about the publication Gira Sol, which is in its second issue, Sequira said that the magazine provides important content including information on the rights of children, health, environment, geography, historical data and games.  
 
For Fatima Ribeiro, who attended the launch which took place at CFM (Mozambique Railway Station), the main objective of the initiative is to promote reading skills.
 
Through the publication, she said, Progresso helps to promote universal values, and therefore recommends that the magazine be circulated in circles of interest (IFP groups) so that teachers can use the magazine to promote reading.
 
At the launch, CODE representatives, who financed the publication of the magazine, praised the initiative and pledged to continue supporting Progresso in promoting a reading environment in the country.
 
“We attach great importance to teacher training and the production of books,” said Judy Hauserman, on the CODE representatives.
 
Scott Walter, also of CODE, said it was necessary to encourage these initiatives so as to encourage more writers, publishers, and illustrators so that the challenge of facilitating a habit of reading can be realized.  
 
Gira Sol,  published by Associação Progresso, circulates eight thousand copies and is sold at a price of 50 eticais (about 2 US dollars).
 
Two editions of the quarterly periodically have now been assembled and a third is in preparation.
 
In addition to representatives from Progresso and from CODE, guests from the Ministry of Education, Soucial Action, journalists and other guests were in attendance. 
 
To read the original article published in Portuguese, go to Sapo.mz
 
Cover of the first issue of Gira Sol