Open Center International is a program that sets up sustainable community centers across rural areas of developing countries.
Our work is founded on Health, Education, and Sustainability: the Pillars of Development.
We do not provide Charity.
We Empower Sustainability.
We bring programs to the people that empower sustainability, allowing the Communities to be their own Pillars of Progress.
What is an Open Center?
Open Centers are Community Centers that provide access to basic healthcare and education for rural communities.
The Community Centers are set up with the understanding that they will be community run from the start. Community members help in the construction of the center, and participate in educational courses designed to provide them with the basic nutrition, healthcare, and general knowledge to better assist other members of their own community.
Once we set up a center, provide the equipment and resources, and educate local members of the community, we step back and empower that local community to continue the mission.
How Do We Reach Sustainability?
Access to nutritious food is limited for rural families in Mozambique. With the production of a vegetable farm, run by community volunteers and parents of the children the center serves, we are able to provide a local food source for the community, and raise funds to run the community center we seek to serve.
Our first center, Centro Aberto de Nhamatsane (C.A.N, or Open Center Nhamatsane) is an open community center, health post, and preschool in the village of Nhamatsane, Mozambique.
Built from the ground up by local Mozambicans with a passion for change, C.A.N. provides services to hundreds of children and adults throughout the area. Over the course of a decade, C.A.N. has truly become the Center of the Community. It serves as a model organization for grassroots change world-wide by empowering every community member to stand up and fight for something better.
Our Community Centers Provide :
– Education (Escolinha)
– Farming (Machamba)
– Health (Saude)
– Community Activism
– Local Government Activism and Engagement
Education : Escolinha
Families in rural Mozambique often are not able to send their children to school. Access to schools in terms of distance, access to supplies, and no previous access to education in the rural villages prevents many children from attending. The Escolinha provides the foundation of classroom learning that the young children need in order to succeed in the larger city-run schools.
The Escolinha provides an invaluable service to the community, and allows the Open Center direct access to the community’s most vulnerable members. The children are fed two nutritious meals per day, and are provided the foundation for lifelong education and learning. As the student parents volunteer their time as members of the Open Center, they share in the empowerment of a better life for all. The Center then provides access to both children and their parents, so that health and safety initiatives may be taught.
Farming : Machamba
The Machamba provides financial and nutritional support to the Center, as well as essential foods to build up community access to food. Parents of students in the Escolinha and other community members volunteer their time to plant, grow, and care for the vegetables, and learn about seed production and sustainable farming techniques. The Machamba provides a further link into the community by addressing food shortage.
Health : Saude
Access to basic healthcare and nutritional counseling is a major component of our Open Community Centers. Children in rural areas often die of malnutrition or simple medical complaints – the Center provides access to care and promotes effective preventative healthcare measures in the community.
Activists are community members that volunteer to receive training in basic healthcare and nutrition. Activists, as members of their own community, then travel to rural areas, visit homes, and teach other community members, and educate the public on the Open Center services provided, and promote the Escolinha.
Activists are an integral part of the reach of educational offerings of the Open Center, traveling throughout the region and passing along vital knowledge to far reaching areas of the community.
The Open Center Nhamatsane has trained a total of 18 Activists, and continue to accept community volunteers that are eager to participate their own community’s progress and success.