Mozambique, Africa

MOZ01 - Kutwanana Home Based Care: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: July 7, 2015

Report from BHW Field Director Following Visit 2-4th July

 

Recent Events

Activities

The regular activities of Kutwanana are largely based around getting orphans and vulnerable children into education. In 2014, 5 new children were added. There are currently 91 orphans and 42 vulnerable kids in the programme from Grade 1 through to university. Five of the children have graduated and are now working or looking for employment. There is an expectation that when the children finish and get employment that they begin to help others. One of the guys that is working is now assisting an orphan. 

Originally the children were going to a school in the church but it became too expensive to continue and the children were integrated into local schools. The children did not like it at first and the standard of education did drop.

Overall the programme is going well. The children are doing well and in general achieve good results. 

Every two months the guardians and parents are brought together for communication and fellowship. 

11 children have special needs, HIV+, and receive extra help with food supplements and medical help. 

This programme runs parallel to the church programmes and helps develop relationships and bridges into the community.  

Last Year

There are a number of observations from the last year:

In general there has been an increase in spiritual interest amongst the children. This is especially evident in the 13–16 year olds. This was very noticeable when running a school holiday programme and more children are coming to church programmes. Those being helped are not forced to come to church, it’s entirely voluntary.

Many of the older children are providing a great example for the younger ones and this is proving to be a motivation. 

There is a group of women who are very concerned for the children especially one woman. They are constantly looking out for them. There are also some younger families who are taking some leadership in this and who are starting to take responsibility. Patrick and Grace’s son Mumba and his wife Jessica are one of these couples. 

There are more than 200 people now in church and it is growing in number and in maturity. Part of the challenge for Patrick and Grace is to empower the church members to become more involved with the needs of the children. 

New Leaders

new leadersLuis and Florencia have both been part of the Kutwanana programme. Luis came to the church as a 9 year old. When he finished college there was no way that he was going to be able to gain further qualifications so he was brought into the programme for a 7 month course. He completed the course in commerce and almost immediately got a job in a bank, he has been working there for almost three years now.  He has not got much responsibility yet, but he is learning about the various roles within the bank. 

Florencia also started at church as a young girl, her mother helps with the Kutwanana programme. In 2008 she was allowed to join the scholarship programme. When she finished Grade 12 she did a three year diploma in chemistry but has not been able to get a job in that area yet. She currently works at a supermarket. 

Luis’ younger brother is now working as well and they are able to help their parents who are not able to work. Florencia lived with her mum from the time she was 13. Her mother and father split up and her father went back to the village leaving them in the city. 

She cannot imagine how bad life would have been apart from God and the Kutwanana programme. She is very thankful as is Luis who is very emotional every time he talks about it. 

Luis and Florencia are planning to get married. In the meantime they help in church and have started supporting an orphan in the programme. They have had a hard road but have learned a lot in the process of growing up and love to help others. They are an engaging couple who laugh a lot. Patrick and Grace see them as emerging leaders in Kutwanana. They speak very highly of them. 

 

Personal Stories

Alfredo (1st left in photo)

changed livesAlfredo is one of eight children, two of them have died. Three of his siblings are from his father, the others are from a different father. For many years he moved between two houses to live. As he grew up he became a drinker, he would steal and get into bad company. However, he was afraid of violence and began to realise that this was not the life for him. The teacher at school in Grade 7 taught about the impact of drugs and he decided that he had to change. 

He joined the programme in 2006 and began to come to church. He then got baptised but found it difficult. Patrick encouraged him to grow and become stronger. 

He is 19 years old and in Grade 11 and loves science especially biology. He thinks he is not clever like many of his friends. He has many dreams and would love to be a mechanical engineer or a teacher. 

Paulina (3rd left in photo)

Paulina is 18 years old and became a follower of Jesus when she was 12 years old. Since then her life and attitudes have changed. She joined the programme when she was 8 years old. She lives with her grandmother with two sisters. She is in Grade 11. Her sisters are in the programme as well.   

Life has not been easy. Since she has been a Christian many of her friends have rejected her. They call her names like “matreka,” – one who stays quietly at home. She is sometimes lonely but in Jesus she is very happy. 

She is not the top student in the class, she is about average. She is a pleasant child and wants to be a school teacher. She is currently a Sunday School teacher. 

She cannot explain with words the difference in her life. She sometimes looks at her friends and wonders if she would have been pregnant at 14 years like some of the girls in the neighbourhood.  

Alberto (centre in photo)

Alberto is an outgoing young man. He became very emotional when explaining what God is doing in his life. To him the church has become his family and Patrick and Grace his parents. 

He started with Kutwanana 10 years ago in Grade 4. He is now in Grade 10 and the eldest in the family with two siblings. He is now 24 years old. Part way through secondary school he decided to drop out. He went off and worked for someone and learned to weld. However, he started to drift away from the Lord and from church so Patrick chased him, brought him back and convinced him to return to school. He has returned and is very thankful that Patrick chased after him and did not give up on him. 

His father died when he was 5 and he now lives with his mother. He cannot imagine how his life would be if he had not been brought back. He has two younger brothers and one of them has dropped out of school. This brother is now working by doing piece work and the only one earning money for the family. His mother is not able to work.  

He now wants to finish school and then become an electrician. He is positive about his future now. He is thankful to know Jesus and to be learning to live with God and to have hope in Him. 

He loves sciences and wants to have his own business and not have to work for someone else all his life. 

Domingo (2nd right in photo)

Domingo is studying computer engineering. He is in year three with three more to go. There are about 35 in his class and he loves it. He has his own computer which is a great help. Life is very busy with study, church activities and family. 

In 2011 he was invited to come to church by a friend. Soon after that he became a believer. He lives with his younger sister, 12 years old. His mother died in 2013. His father is alive with another wife and does help from time to time with some money. 

He cannot imagine what life would be like without Jesus or this programme. His sister is part of the programme as well. He is a confident young man and people respond to him. 

Rofina (far right in photo)

Rofina grew up with her mum and never knew her father. He ran off with another woman and has another family. In Grade 9 her mother died, she was 16. She joined the programme a year later as life had become very difficult for her. Her mother did everything for her and she had noone to care for her. She had become a Christian at that time and many Christian people began to help her. Only recently she began to know her father’s family. 

She is at College in her second year of three and is studying to get a management certificate. 

Albertina

best friendsAlbertina started in the programme in 2010. She is in Grade 12 and loves science. She would love to be a doctor but is realistic about her chances of being able to get the marks required. She has wanted to be a doctor since she was a child. The training is for 7 years. If she cannot be a doctor she would like to be an accountant. 

She is 24 years old and started with Kutwanana as a 9 year old. She stays with her mother and has has three sisters. Her father is not around. She joined in 2000 and became a Christian in 2006. She heard some teaching in church and responded to the invitation to become a believer. She used to be a Sunday School teacher but stopped that and now goes to the prison to help distribute Emmaus courses to the prisoners. 

Patrick and Grace are like her parents and she cannot imagine what her life would be like if she had not become involved. Rofina is her best friend and they encourage each other. She is so thankful that her hopes and dreams are now possible.

Antonio 

Antonio is 22 years old and he completed Grade 12 last year. He is waiting to go to university. He was supposed to go to Zambia to join the GLO Alive programme (ZAM19c) but he couldn’t get a passport in time. He is disappointed but he may get there next year as it can take some years to get into university. 

He wants to be a history teacher, the training is four years. He has always wanted to do this. He is the fifth child of his mother but the first child of his father. He has a younger brother to this father but he has never met him. He did not grow up with his half siblings and has really only got to met them.

Some general observations and comments from the young people we interviewed:
The lives they now live are very different from their friends in the world 
Their friends and people they live with find it difficult to accept them and their new ways of living
The changed way of thinking creates a battle in their minds, before they became believers they just did whatever they wanted
They refuse to participate in many of the things their friends do and their friends even try to force them to do wrong things
They are sometimes excluded from some activities, they are sometimes the only Christian in a class of 30 or 40 people
Prayer, Bible study and fasting helps them to stay strong and to resist the pressure 
They also find that telling people about Jesus helps them to stay faithful 
When they are being criticised they find it hard to live a life of love, but this is important to continue loving people 
Meditation on God’s Word and listening to Christian music is also helpful 
They are very encouraged to meet people and know that people love them from other parts of the world. They feel closer to these people than to their blood relatives. 
The Lord gives them things that their families could not supply – peace, happiness, guidance and care. Life, hope and a family. This makes them very happy. 
They feel good when they are together – things are different when they are with Christians 

 

Partnership's Influence within the Community

The community is very responsive to the church, the programmes and its influence in the community. They come to the programmes and participate in the discussions. Many of them are from catholic churches with strong syncretistic beliefs. There are very few Moslems in this community.

Many more families are requesting assistance for their children.  

 

Ideas for the Future

The development of Foundations for Farming has the potential to really help the families become self-sustaining and run alongside the education programme and the church. 

There is land available which people can use for farming but their methods are not productive. Many women are keen to become better farmers. 

They want to continue the education programme, there are still a lot of people who need to be educated. Next time we come it is important to meet some other people who are coming into leadership. 

 

Current Issues and Challenges

looking to go homePatrick and Grace are thinking about returning to Zambia to live. They would like to do that within two years but realise this is probably not realistic. Developing leaders is therefore a major issue for successful transition.

The huge number of vulnerable children in the community creates many issues for the church and many pressures on the education programme. 

Some of the children in their teens yield to the pressure of their peers and drop out, or give up or start playing around. Patrick and Grace have rescued and pulled many of them back into the programme when they had almost thrown it all away. 

 

Prayer and Praise Points

1) The good results of the children at school. Pray that this will continue. 
2) For those who have or are finishing their education that they will gain good employment.
3) That Patrick and Grace will have wisdom as they begin the process of withdrawing from the work in Mozambique. 
4) Pray that a number of people will step into leadership. 

 

Comments

This programme is beginning to have an impact on the future of these children. Some who began as little kids are now graduating with degrees and getting great jobs. I therefore recommend that we continue this partnership at the same rate of support.

Bringing Foundations for Farming alongside the education programme has real potential to empower families. We have started negotiating with Patrick and Grace to bring FfF into the network of churches here.