Focus 2006

Mozambique - POR15-03-2006

Project: Salesians in Mozambique
Date of foundation: 1907
Place: Mozambique
Province: POR - Delegation of Mozambique

The beginnings (1907-1913)
The Salesians came to Mozambique (to the island by that name) in 1907 to run a School of Arts and Trades, where they looked after some hundred or so boarders. Then they extended their activities to the Mission in Mochelia, in continental Mozambique. Come the Revolution in Portugal, all Religious were expelled from Portuguese Coloniesi. Therefore the Salesians in Mozambique were expelled in 1913.

They returned once it gained independence (1952-1975)
The Salesians returned in 1952, to the Mouzinho Institute in Albuquerque, a technical school approximately 70 kms from the capital, then went to Louorençzo Marques and today, Maputo. They had an education centre with approximately 250 boys living in, orphans entrusted to them by public welfare.
By request of the Archbishop they took on responsibility for the Mission of St. Joseph of Lhanguene, in Maputo in 1954. This comprised the parish church, school buildings and a hostel for about 100 poor youngsters.
In 1967 near the Mission of St Joseph of Lhanguene, the Salesians opened Don Bosco Boarding School that soon became a reference point for the entire city.
In 1975 Salesian work extended to Tete province, in the centre of the Mozambique, when they took on the St John the Baptist Mission, with the task of evangelising the entire district of Moatize with some thirty Christian communities.

24th June 1974 Mozambique gained Independence. Given the Marxist-Leninist ideology inspiring the administration of the new nation, it wasn’t long before all schools, health centres and some churches were nationalised.
For the second time the Sons of Don Bosco had to abandon their work, so much so that many returned to their country of origin.
The small group that remained behind to keep contact with the young made themselves available to teach in the official schools and at the same time organised catechesis, oratories and other cultural activities in spaces at churches they were able to use. Despite the difficult situation, it gave rise to the first vocations. During these years (1975-1992) the Salesians, given the scarsity of missionaries, took charge of seven parishes, in the capital, in Maputo.

The Time of Peace (1994)

A few years after Independence the two largest political parties involved the nation in a war that lasted until 1994 and not only prevented development, but destroyed the infrastructure and caused great poverty, ruined families and left many orphaned. With the arrival of peace the Salesians made a choice for professional education as a way of helping to develop the country and in response to the many young people who to this point were living without hope of a future.

1. School of Arts and Trades in Moamba
In 1993 the Government entrusted this School of Arts and Trades to the Salesians. It was in a state of complete abandonment, but thanks to funds from overseas the school was rebuilt and equipped, and in the following years became a school of reference, with boarding students, orphans and day students.
The parish in Moamba was also given to the Salesians who extended their activity to the villages in the district and opened oratories in some of these communities

2. St Joseph of Lhanguene Mission
The Salesians, during the most difficult periodof Marxism, found a way to maintain their parish activity. In 1982 the Government approved the return of permission for a boarding school and for toher schools, but only when there was a peace agreement was it possible to rebuild and construct new places for work in the following sectors:
- Parish with approximately 80,000 inhabitants;
- Hostel with around 80 residents;
- Centre for Technical Formation;
- Business School;
- Elementary school;
- Youth Centre

3. St. Dominic Savio Community, in Matola
St. Dominic Savio Community is near Maputo and was built in 1996. It has the following activities:
- Centre for Technical Formation
- Aspirantate for those wanting to be Salesians and where they can finish their Secondary schooling.
- Youth Centre

4. St. John the Baptist Mission, in Moatize
After nationalisation the Salesians left Moatize. They returned there in 1983, despite the war still raging. The missionaries work in the following sectors:
- Parish with about 30 mission stations (villages).
- Elementary School with the school in Maotize and another 4 schools, some of them in the villages with a total of 1,300 students.
- Oratory, in Maotize
- The radio school: A small radio that the young people look after on a voluntary basis.

5. Don Bosco Technical school, in Matundo (Tete)
Opened in 2001 and on the outskirts of the city of Tete, in the centre of the country, it offers young people the possibility of preparing themselves to enter the working world as carpenters, mechanics, automobile mechanics, civil engineers, clothing manufacturers.

6. St. Dominic Savio Technical school, in Inharrime (Inhambane)
Opened in 2002, in Inharrime City it gives young people in the area the possibility of being qualified as carpenters, mechancis, electricians and building constructors.

7. Novitiate, in Namaacha
Up until 1995 the novitiate was in Namaacha. We find there novices from Angola and Mozambique.
Alongside the novitiate there is a Youth Centre which opens its doors daily to young people, both children and older youth.
8. Don Bosco Community, Maputo
The Delegation’s centre

With the development of the Schools and Centres for Technical Formation, the advantages of a network were immediately seen, so that Salesian technical formation could be organised according to a unified plan. With financial support it was possible to create support services for the Schools and Centres of Technical Formation, such as the Department for School-Business to help students leaving school fit into the working world; the Pedagogical Sector to support teacher formation, given that in general their academic level of teacher education was very low; the Logistics Sector and Projects Office to seek funds to finance technical formation and other Salesian pastoral activity.

The Centre for teacher formation (for Technical Formation).
A Centre for Technical Formation of teachers is being built in Mozambique. The Ministry of Education has entrusted the Salesians with the Formation of their teachers.
The Salesians have always tried to work harmoniously with the Ministry of Education in Mozambique, supporting and offering their contribution in drawing up technical curriculum for the Technical Schools, taking part in pilot schools as part of Technical Education reform and supporting improvement in quality of technical education in Mozambique.

  Casa Dom Bosco
Rua João Mulungo, 103
Maputo. Mozambique
Tel: +258 21404074
Fax: +258 21401145
Web site: