Mozambique, Africa

MOZ01 - Kutwanana Home Based Care: Partnership Reports



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Report Date: July 7, 2013

Report by Sam Phillips following visit in April 2013

 

My wife, Marion, and I were visiting our daughter Heather who is an Occupational Therapist currently working in Maputo with One Mission Society. Heather is based at the One Mission Compound, Boa Nova, in the Machava district not far from where Patrick and Grace are living and working in the Liberdade district.

I was asked by Kevin Honore, BHW Field Director, if I would visit Patrick and Grace and see firsthand some of the work that they are doing in Maputo and provide a brief report.

 

Recent Events

Children

Helped to schoolThe number of children supported by the project has fluctuated between 170 and 200 over recent years; currently it is around 180.  The age range of the children and young people that are supported is from about 8 years to 22 years.  When the young people reach the maximum age some leave and some go on to undertake vocational training. They do not run an orphanage home as such but rather they support the young people as best they can to live with their wider families and they also help with their school fees to keep them at school. 

About 20 to 25 children have HIV and the prescriptions they require for their treatment are expensive, ranging between US$10 - US$30.  

Patrick explained that they had previously run their own school but that the funding they received was simply not enough to continue the school and it had to close in 2011.  They were very disappointed that they had to do this, as also were the children, and he said it was a very hard decision to make but they had no choice.  They now support the children to go to local state schools by paying fees for them, however the standards of education are variable and Local churchoften quite poor.

Local church

There are currently approximately 250 members and more than 50% of these are young people.  There are 5 Elders plus some Deacons.  Patrick also said there have been two new church plants.  The regular church services include a Breaking of Bread Service, a Gospel Meeting, and a Teaching Meeting.  There is also a Sunday School with 10 classes.

 

Meeting the Children and Young People

Local areaOn Saturday Patrick met us near the Boa Nova compound where we were staying and we drove to the church in Liberdade which is situated in the middle of a very densely populated residential area. The houses are very small but by general standards they are better than in some areas as they each have their own little area with a hedge or wall around. The church building is on one side of small courtyard and when we arrived the building was full of children and young people.  

One of the young leaders then proceeded to show us a number of Powerpoint presentations showing different activities that they had been doing with the children over the past year or two and I believe this was the first time that many of the young folk had seen these presentations.  Some parents were also present. 

Changed livesAfter the presentations there was a time of singing and Patrick and one of the young leaders spoke to the children.  There was some more singing and prayer and then Patrick dismissed the audience.  We were then able to meet with some of the young folk and talk to them.

Later on the Saturday evening we went to Patrick and Grace’s home where he had arranged a barbeque with a good number of the Young Leaders.  We had a very pleasant evening and we very much enjoyed the opportunity to get to know Patrick and Grace a little better and also to get to know their family.  One of their daughters, Shula, was present and we found her to be a bright intelligent young woman who was very supportive of  the work that her mother and father are doing.  The other family members also appeared to be very close to their parents and to be supportive of the work. 

Very supportiveThe Young Leaders, both young women and young men, were clearly very supportive of Patrick and Grace and I believe they are a real encouragement to them.  They enjoyed themselves at the barbeque and were clearly happy to be around the Mulenga family.

 

 

Ideas for the Future

Bakery Project

Patrick advised that they currently have an oven and were teaching people how to bake bread but unfortunately the project was affected by the flood water. They would like to build a bigger oven, train up to 20 people as bakers and use this to support the folk who work there and also the orphans.

 

Current Issues and Challenges

Flooded last yearThe courtyard around the church flooded last wet season after heavy rains with water right up to the church building although the building itself was not affected.  The water has subsided away from the courtyard but quite deep stagnant water still blocks the road just past the entrance to the courtyard and any vehicles which come along the narrow street to this point have to reverse back out as the water is too deep to pass through.  Patrick believes that this water will not go away as it has been there for a number of months now.  He is concerned that further heavy rains will result in more flooding possibly damaging the church building. It would be possible to protect the courtyard by blocking a few holes around the walls and raising the ground at the entrance and I discussed this with Patrick and showed him what could possibly be done.

 

Overall Impressions

Addressing the childrenWe were deeply impressed with the fact that so many (almost all) of the children that are supported by Patrick and Grace turned up on the Saturday morning to the church to meet with us and take part in an impromptu service.  It was clear that they had a lot of respect for Patrick and Grace and for the older young people who had been beneficiaries of Patrick and Grace’s programme and who were now taking responsibility as leaders in the work.  

I was very impressed with how Patrick and Grace opened their home to the young people and freely shared what they have with them.  It appeared to me to be something they did naturally as a matter of course and this was not just a one off event for us.  I was also impressed with how they were training and equipping the young leaders to help with the work and these young folk have the potential to carry on the work after they leave it.  This aspect was particularly encouraging.

 

Summary

Two other leadersWe felt uplifted, encouraged and also humbled by our visit to see the work of Patrick and Grace.  It was a real privilege to be with them and to share with them for a day.  They appear to be achieving something of real value for the Lord and are doing it with open hearts and with minimal resources.  The support that they are receiving is certainly being very well used and I have little doubt that any additional support that they would receive would be highly valued and equally well used.

It was good to see how the young folk who are now taking leadership roles in the work with the children have such a high regard for Patrick and Grace.  These young folk have had a better level of education than they might otherwise have had and now they have great potential to carry on the work in association with the church at Liberdade.

In conclusion I would have no hesitation in recommending ongoing support for Patrick and Grace and for the work they are undertaking.