In 2009, the Open Society Scholarship Programs awarded EARTH University a grant to support promising undergraduate scholars from Haiti and Mozambique. The following post is part of our blog series featuring their voices.
Sergio Mabasso: Here in Costa Rica, it rains a lot. As a result, EARTH’s campus is very green. In Mozambique, my country, you can go for months without seeing anything green. The land is red. When it does rain, the dust turns to mud.
Both of my parents have jobs, so I grew up with my grandparents in a village. They have five hectares of land about two kilometers away from their house. It has been in our family for years. I used to help them tend the corn, beans, and vegetables. They have no electricity. They burn charcoal to cook. There are people who walk down to the riverbanks to collect water. But my grandparents have a gasoline motor pump and use it to draw water from the river and irrigate our rows of crops.
I have learned good agricultural practices here at EARTH. I can take these lessons back to my community in Mozambique. I can show them how to produce so they can feed their families. Where I come from, there is a lot of cattle. I’m convinced that if I apply what I've learned at EARTH back at home and work along with the peasants, we could successfully produce energy for cooking and reduce the use of charcoal.
Most people in my community learn by what they see and by copying it. I can show them. I can also train the heads of the leading families, and they can share this with the community.