Making friends through soccer

An interview with a Inocêncio from Maputo

Inocêncio (22 years old) studies in Computer Sciences and Telecommunication Engineering at ISUTC (Instituto Superior das Telecomunicações).

It is a private higher Institute belonging to Mozambique Telecommunications. He lives in the SOS Youth Facility in the community. The youth facilities for boys are houses within the community, whilst youth facilities for girls are in the SOS Children's Village Maputo compound.

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What difficulties did you face when first moving to the Youth Facility?

The main difficulty was becoming familiar with this new life in the community, given that I was used to the life in an SOS family house – a highly protected and relaxed life. In the community, I had to learn to take care of myself and to solve some potential challenging situations that normally would be solved with the help of my SOS mom.

I also feared this change in my life and was worried about making new friends in the community. Many young people in the community speak local languages such as Ronga or Changana, and I only speak Portuguese. But I made really good friends in the community and at university. I think it helped that I play soccer.

What are the challenges youth have to face nowadays in Maputo?

The main challenge now for most youth in Maputo is to finish university with an average mark equal or greater than 14, because enterprises prefer those students*. Then, the next challenge is to conquer the employment market. We have a very competitive life.

What are your hopes and ambitions for the future?

My hopes and ambitions for the future are something I have thought about a lot. I want to have a solid professional life and own a house so that I can leave the youth facility using my own resources before it is time for me to reintegrate, or leave the protection and support of SOS care.

I dream of having my own telecommunications business; who knows, perhaps a mobile telephony enterprise. I would like to have my own family one day too. In the future I would like to be a sponsor of a child in an SOS family, as a way of showing my gratitude for what SOS Children's Village Maputo has done for me.

* The average marks in Mozambique are counted from 0 to 20. For employment reasons, the preferred average is 14 out of 20, which corresponds to 70%. From this average upward, you are considered an excellent student.