Founded by Olympic gold-medal winning runner Maria Mutola, the Lurdes Mutola Foundation aims to bring more young Mozambicans to sports and to help them achieve their sporting and educational potential. The foundation has worked with the national Ministry of Health and UNICEF on a national immunization campaign against measles and polio and housing development initiatives in Maputo. It began its activities in 2002 by making small grants to athletes, hosting conferences and workshops, and finding a way to get the busy Mutola to participate in activities, and has since expanded its range of programs and budget. The foundation maintains a strong emphasis on the empowerment of young women through education and sport.
The Friends of Lurdes Mutola Foundation provides financial support to “Mais Escola para Mim” (More School for Me), one of the projects launched by the Lurdes Mutola Foundation in 2007. This scholarship program aims to increase the numbers of girls and young women who graduate from secondary schools, particularly in rural parts of the country. This program addresses broad gender disparities in education found in Mozambique and has the potential to change the lives of the young women involved, as well as provide a successful model for the educational empowerment of women in African rural communities.
For more information, visit the group’s website here.