The city of Maputo can boast a newly renovated park in the George Dimitrov neighborhood, commonly known as Benfica. The project includes a soccer field, built around the park, and a multi-purpose field for the “Unidade 29” Primary School Complete, which will improve the quality of physical education classes and motor activities of students.
Mrs. Maria Tembe, who has been living in the George Dimitrov neighborhood for over 50 years, can see a huge difference compared to the previous years, thanks to this rehabilitation. "We are grateful for this work. And we ask that the municipality of Maputo to help us take care of the space and guarantee safety, because it is the second time that the children's park is being built.", Maria said.
The works were opened by an inauguration ceremony, attended by local and international authorities: among them was the Italian ambassador to Mozambique, Gianni Bardini, who underlined that, while this might be a small project, it is one of great importance, as it will positively impact the lives of many citizens living in this neighborhood.
The mayor of the city of Maputo, Eneas Comiche, underlined that this space has proved to be indispensable for the residents of one of the most socially and economically diverse areas in the city. Here, they can interact and share their experiences, which is particularly valuable for children and young people. In this way, as a matter of fact, they can find the comfort and inspiration needed to explore their abilities and skills.
The project representative, Stefano Cigarini, considers that the re-opening of the park shows that the dialogue between the institutions and the communities involved can bring amazing results. This may serve as a background for future improvement, in line with an agenda of sustainable development.
The requalification of the structures results from the collaboration and exchange of good practices between Italian and Mozambican architects. It was carried out under the project "PARTICIDADE", funded by AICS and implemented by the Municipality of Reggio Emilia - Fondazione E35, in partnership with the Municipality of Maputo and AVSI Foundation in Mozambique.
AVSI in Mozambique has been working in informal areas to guarantee urban development using a participatory integrated strategy, that aims at addressing the priorities highlighted by the local community.