Mozambique, Africa

MOZ01 - Kutwanana Home Based Care: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: September 26, 2018

Report from BHW Mozambique Partnership Facilitator Following Visit

 

Key people:  Patrick and Grace Mulenga 

 

Recent Events

This is a scholarship programme with 33 students at higher primary, 17 in the 13–16 age group, three high school students and seven at university or tertiary levels. I visited Mozambique in early August and while there met a large number of the older students and heard many of their stories. 

While there we also heard about many of the students that have graduated from the programme. Nearly all of them have employment all around the country. A number of them have started churches in the places where they have settled with their jobs. Patrick is very excited about this and the maturity they are showing. He takes them with him to conferences to speak and lead seminars. The people in these areas cannot believe how mature they are. In fact, they had only just returned from a national conference of churches and he was so encouraged by the young people and their capacity. 

Many of them are married now and he sees the real change that has happened. These young people were all vulnerable and very poor and he cannot imagine how different their lives are now to what they would have been without the Kutwanana programme. 

 

Personal Stories

outstanding young peopleHere are the brief stories of the 10 older young people who came to share their stories. Their photo is to the right (Back – Alfredo, Delson, Armando, Alberto. Front- Hilda, Antonio, Adozinta, Deros, Domingos, Helder). I have rarely met such an engaging group of young people. All are fluent in Portuguese and most of them are proficient in English, a couple of them outstanding. They are so mature with a sense of purpose and their role in society. Very impressed! 

Alfredo’s father is from a JW background and his mother goes to a different church. His wider family thinks he is an idiot to go to church. They have little to do with him. However, he comes to church with a couple of nephews. He would love for his mother especially to know the truth. He teaches 11-12 year olds at Sunday School and is musical. He sings in a group and writes songs. He is waiting to find a place to study as he has left secondary school. 

doing greatDelson is studying administration. He teaches the Covenanter group (13–16 years) (see photo). He loves to teach and tell people about Jesus but finds it very difficult at home as his parents are staunch Catholics. They cannot afford to help with his education at tertiary level. 

Armando’s family is heavily involved in witchcraft and he finds it very hard to say anything at home. His father sometimes locks him up or kicks him out of home. He is involved in teaching the 8–10 year olds at church and is also involved in prison ministry. They take the Emmaus courses to the prison and talks with the guys. He is waiting for funds to become available for training. 

Alberto is also waiting for funds so he can get training. He helps with the 11-12 year olds at Sunday School. He grew up in this community and finds it hard to witness in his own place as people won’t listen to him easily. He is also involved in the worship group and prison ministry. 

Hilda’s father is heavily involved in traditional healing and it is not easy to be a Christian at home. Her mother is Catholic and helps her father. When she refuses to be involved in rituals he gets angry and aggressive. He shouts about church and that he gave her life, not God! She asks to use the computer at home but he refuses because this computer came from my spirits, not yours!! “If you need a computer your God can provide it.” But, at least he lets her come to church.  She teaches 11-12 year olds at Sunday School. 

Antonio is the only Christian in his family and feels that he cannot participate in a lot of what the family does. He is waiting for a place for training. He teaches the 6–7 year olds at Sunday School. 

Adozinta lives with an aunt, the younger sister to her mother who has died. Her aunt comes to church so that is a help, along with her younger sister. The aunt gets little help from the extended family and life is pretty tough for them and for her as a young person. She loves teaching the 3–5 year olds at Sunday School. 

Deros does a lot of work at the Emmaus Correspondence School. He is an impressive young man. He has been able to bring many of his family to church and most have come to faith, including his father. 

Domingos is just finishing computer engineering and is an impressive young man. He interpreted for me. This is his fifth year and he is one that has had an exception made for him. He lives with his 14 year old sister as his parents have died. He cannot imagine life without this project. The project has made a huge difference and is a great testimony to his extended family. They are very involved in witchcraft but three of his sisters have become Christians and his mother has almost become a believer. He has a very complicated family. 

The others call him the administrator and he helps them and organizes things. He advocates for a lot of the younger people getting them into colleges. Usually you have pay bribes but he is able to talk the right way. This is especially important for the young ones in the Covenanter age whose parents are not interested in education. 

He teaches the 11–14 year olds, three of them do this. He also works with the youth, is a cell group leader and translates between three languages at church. Getting the balance between family life (his sister), study and church is not easy. Prep for Sunday School is not easy. 

Helder failed to pass the exams to get into university and two of his Christian friends got in. He was very upset as there was no option to go to a private college. He was very thankful to get into an 8-month course for banking. He hopes to get a job in a bank when he completes his training. He works with the 8–10 year olds, is an Emmaus volunteer and does prison ministry. His family are quite religious and aren’t very happy with his stand. He finds it hard. 

 

Partnership's Influence within the Community

This is very evident. The local people around their base are very happy about what is going on. They frequently come in and thank them. The local church in the community continues to grow, largely on the back of the good reputation they have developed. 

They have a daily programme at the community centre / church and feed 30 of the most vulnerable children. Women from the church home groups manage this. This becomes a first contact point in identifying the most vulnerable. They do not fund the younger children as there is free education available however some cannot remain in school for various reasons and they pick them up as they come under stress. 

They spend time to understand the circumstances of each child. They don’t want to take away from the families their responsibilities. They help with part of their expenses unless they are totally without family or other help. There are some like this in the community. Machava has around 300,000 people living in it, a low cost housing area, not quite a slum. 

33 of the younger children need help with uniforms to get to school. 

At selection for tertiary level training the student has to make three choices about what great seamstressthey want to do and where they want to study. If they choose an expensive place Kutwanana cannot help them. I met a couple like this. In one or two cases they have allowed exceptional students to do this or to go on beyond a 3-year course. 

They used to have a bakery operating and have the equipment to do this. However, someone else opened up in the area they were working and killed their business. They are about to start it up again. One of their first girls who is deaf and dumb operates a sewing business and is doing really well. Benhilda has a good reputation as a great seamstress. 

From the community centre they also run an Emmaus Bible Correspondence School. Grace oversees this and eight of the young people come and help. Patrick also sells Sunday School curriculum books to churches and runs seminars about how to use them. Many of the young people are Sunday School teachers too. 

 

Bible coursesIdeas for the Future

I think this is a great programme that is well thought out and managed and they should stick with the current strategy they are implementing. 

 

Current Issues and Challenges

There are so many children in the community in need. However, they have good systems in place for selection and realise they cannot help everyone. 

 

Prayer and Praise Points

1) The change that is emerging in the lives of those involved in the programme.
2) The number of young people who are getting good jobs and who are establishing stable families as they marry.
3) That 60 children/young people are getting a shot at a much better future than if they were not part of this programme. 

 

Comments

I had a conversation with a number of the older young people about the future. At some stage, within 5 years probably, Patrick and Grace hope to return to Zambia to retire. I asked the young people if they are ready to take up the challenge of managing this programme. They are adamant they can and want to do it. Patrick and Grace’s son lives here and is married so is likely to remain on. He is a very mature guy and would be an asset in this programme too. 

I am therefore quite hopeful that there is a future for this programme. Some of the past students are also contributing to the young ones coming behind them.