Aoife Murphy - Embassy Maputo
As a Junior Professional Intern in Embassy Mozambique, I support the implementation of one of Irish Aid’s largest programmes, where we work in health, education, climate change and other vital areas.
Things move at a fast pace in the Embassy but meeting with programme partners, monitoring projects and managing communications are some of my day to day tasks. 2016 was a very busy year owing in part to the severe drought that affected much of Southern Africa. In May, I visited Inhambane, a coastal province, north of the capital to help to evaluate work being done on food security and nutrition. The harsh effects of the drought were evident as people’s ability to provide for themselves and their families was devastated by failed crops and a lack of safe water. The evaluation helped Irish Aid to respond in a timely manner to adjust the programme to support those affected.
Another key moment of 2016 for me was overseeing an education project focused on improving literacy skills of primary school children. Having the opportunity to accompany this process from the initial teacher training to the end of year tests when we saw a marked improvement in literacy scores was a personal highlight of the year for me.
I was fortunate also to be able to engage in the wider work of the Embassy taking a lead role in organising events to commemorate 1916. We had the pleasure of hosting a visit by the Irish historian Liz Gillis who spoke passionately about events of 1916 against the backdrop of the Portraits and Lives exhibition, which brought the story of the men and women of 1916 to the Mozambican audience. This was my first experience organising a cultural event and it proved to be a very memorable occasion that succeeded in sharing Irish culture with a wide audience.