Welcome to the online space that represent a very real space in the town of Manica, Mozambique. This website is designed to be a portal to all the important information you might be interested in. Much of what is written here is for the outside world, hence the language of English. In Manica everyone speaks Portuguese. Also, although the local Manicans use this site, it is further aimed at those who are not living in Manica; the local community has the ‘real deal’, while the rest of us have to use the internet to see a bit and get excited, or to see and reflect on visits and good memories. Hopefully if you read this, you were, or will get to Manica at some stage. You are welcom at GDM, and welcome on this site!


Names can be funny things. The full nume of this organisation is Grupo Desportivo e Recreativo de Manica. Often people just refer to Desportivo de Manica. In Manica people simply speaks of Desportivo or Despo. While the name used by non-Portuguese speaking people is mostly GDM.


GDM is an organisation owned by the community of Manica. It is like a sport or football club, but it is also like a NGO! GDM is not about projects it is about friends DOING LIFE TOGETHER and that include sport, education, health, enterprise and many other things. Much of GDM is very informal, but some elements have been formalised to meet international notions of capacity, transparency and accountability. BUt if you remember GDM is all about friends trying to build a family that creates opportunities for poor kids, you would be just fine. Oh, and we also love football.


The most appropriate manner to articulate the mission of GDM is the words of Nobel laureate Amartya Sen: “To expand the real freedoms people enjoy so they can be able to choose to live the lives that they might have reason to value.”

Reflection: true development means each person knows and chooses what he or she wants! We may pick words that reflect a mission, but in Manica a mission is not exact words printed on a poster, it is a communal idea negotiated over years.


The way to achieve this overall mission is to create an integrated community club that uses sport for social good. The club is an inclusive hub which provides infrastructure and relationships that facilitate change.


Three main values distinguish and guide GDM:

Relational: Everything happens through relationships, GDM pursues all activities and programs through friendships that explore sustainable solutions.
Organic: GDM allows growth to occur organically. One success leads to another and people grow naturally in their specific contexts.
Holistic: Our lives are integrated and HIV-Aids, poverty, fun, money, love, education etc. can never be split into artificially separate boxes. Development as freedom will always imply an integrated approach.


To provide focus, the following objectives have been agreed on:

  • Promote social inclusion and integration (vibrant civil society)
  • Provide a wide variety of positive opportunities for youths to be involved in (participation)
  • Promote gender equality (Mozambique at grass-root level is still very paternalistic)
  • Promote skills-transfer (entrepreneurship, sport, life-skills, financial literacy, etc)
  • Provide sustainable infrastructure (social hub)
  • Promote physical health and safe places (including HIV-Aids and violence/crime free environments)
  • To support a top-level football team that can inspire the town.

For a 30 second intro video, watch below: