Policy Plan for 2020 – 2022
Doctors for Mozambique helps talented but financially poor students to become doctors by paying their tuition fees and/or a contribution to their living expenses, thereby making a structural contribution towards solving the desperate shortage of doctors in this African country.
Doctors for Mozambique has made a conscious decision to offer the country structural assistance by ensuring that more young, talented Mozambicans can receive medical training so that they can bring healing to their own people. As the Japanese proverb says, “If someone if hungry, don’t give him fish to eat, but teach him how to fish”.
In close cooperation with the faculty and with secondary schools, Doctors for Mozambique seeks to select students who, as well as being gifted academically, are also fully motivated to complete the seven years of medical training. Each year, the tuition fees are transferred to the university directly. In addition to the tuition fees, Doctors for Mozambique also makes a monthly contribution to the students’ living expenses and the cost of study materials.
Granting of financial support is subject to the following conditions:
- The student must have attained high grades during his/her secondary school education;
- The student must be sufficiently motivated to complete his/her medical training;
- The student (or his/her parents/guardians) must be unable to pay for the training themselves;
- The student must sign a contract undertaking to pay back half of the tuition fees paid by the Foundation on his/her behalf. Repayment will take place over a period of several years.
Selection and supervision
To maximise the likelihood of successful graduation, extra attention is paid to the intake and admission of potential students. The candidate students spend a full weekend being tested with the support of professional supervisors. The results of those tests are used as a basis for the decision whether to accept the candidate. A selection weekend of this nature not only assesses his/her intelligence but also gives a better, more complete picture of the candidate’s level of motivation, ability to persevere and personal circumstances. The opportunity is also taken to explain thoroughly to the candidate students what the Foundation expects from them during, but also following completion of their studies.
Throughout their training, students are provided with supervisory support in a number of forms, including a series of days/weekends during which they meet together to assess how they are doing in terms of both academic learning and social development. It goes without saying that students’ study results and overall progress are monitored closely at regular intervals.
The organisational structure of Doctors for Mozambique is as follows:
The Board comprises five members, each with his or her area of responsibility. The Board members have complementary competencies.
Gitta and Harrie van der Meeren, liaison
Gitta and Harrie live in Nuenen (NL) and work as volunteers in the hospital in Beira for a number of periods of several weeks each year, teaching microbiology and dermatology.
Gitta and Harrie are directly involved, on behalf of the Foundation, in selecting students, conducting appraisals and drawing up progress reports.
The task of the local representatives is to support Gitta and Harrie when they are in Beria and to represent the Foundation in the periods when they are not in Mozambique.
In the interests of safeguarding the continuity of the Foundation’s activities, a ‘subsidiary’ has been set up in Beira, called Apesmo (Associação de Apoio a Profissionais e Estudantes de Saúde em Moçambique), which translates as Society of Healthcare Professionals and Students in Mozambique. Apesmo has state recognition. It will start by assisting with a number of executive duties in Beira, the intention being that this locally-based organisation will gradually take on more of the Foundation’s activities, thereby ensuring much-needed continuity.
Sources of income
Doctors for Mozambique receives its income from private individuals, companies and organisations as well as from service clubs. The Foundation invests considerable time in fundraising.
Tuition fees and contributions to living expenses – facts and figures
Study costs plus living expenses amount to an equivalent of around € 2,000 per annum, based on current exchange rates. So the entire 7-year study period (preparatory year plus 6 years of medical training) costs a little more than € 14,000.
In addition to the above, there are the expenses linked to the selection weekend and the fortnightly pastoral/coaching meetings.
It is our policy to have in place sufficient resources, financial commitments and reserves to ensure that each student who embarks on his/her training – and continues to meet our requirements – is also able to complete it.
At the end of 2019, Doctors for Mozambique was supporting 35 medical students and 6 senior nursing students.
Number of students to be taken on
An increase in the number of students depends primarily on the Foundation’s financial situation. The aim of Doctors for Mozambique for the term covered by this policy plan is to maintain existing student numbers as a minimum and to take on more students if and when finances allow.
Neither the Board members nor the liaison team receive any remuneration for their work. The local representatives in Mozambique receive an allowance.
Financial accountability and translation of policy into practice take place via the annual accounts, which are published in full on the DfM website.
Prior to the start of each financial/calendar year, the Board draws up a balanced operating budget for that year.
This policy plan will be reviewed each year and adjusted where necessary.
The policy plan for 2020-2022 was adopted in the board meeting held on 14 November 2019.