Two cyclones in Mozambique have shattered and devastated much of the country killing hundreds and displacing tens of thousands. Did you know that MANNA – an Anglican charity devoted to supporting dioceses in Mozambique and Angola – is based in Marcham, Oxfordshire. In this submitted photo essay Pathways Live brings you the story of how the Anglican Church in Mozambique is responding to the disaster, and how you can help.
This is Muassite. Muassite heads up the Anglican dioceses’ innovative community development work which focusses on health, HIV, water, education, etc based in Nampula. But her home and church are in Pemba. Like 1,000s of others, her home was partially destroyed due to Cyclone Kenneth & the flooding. But she is the one who is leading the diocese’s response.
As soon as she could, she managed to get out to Chiure district a couple of hours out of Pemba to the rural areas where the Diocese has a school, active churches and community development work and works in many villages and communities. The situation in these rural areas is dire. No government or NGO’s had reached these areas and so she and her team went about visiting homes, churches, and the school. They discovered that the school, school and many homes were destroyed after the River Lurio burst its banks. The photo below is of the school taken a month ago. A very rural church school that didn’t even have a borehole but was still educating 768 pupils and below a photo of it destroyed.
She also discovered the community’s harvests were destroyed so the situation for these 1,000s of people in this area will be dire for a number of months without intervention. The team set about gathering data and making plans. They sent this photo of kids eating rotting maize and many stories of families who have lost everything and who the Diocese is now helping with food, aid, seeds, mosquito nets etc. Below is Amade & his wife Juliana and their four children who lost their home and everything. This is the same story for so many families. Muassite told us it is amazing to hear that another family have taken them into their home and of the kindness that she is witnessing among these families.
Elizabeth Thomas, of MANNA, says: “This is all so tragic for so many reasons. Firstly, we have seen this all before a month ago in Cyclone Idai where the two other Dioceses of Lebombo and Niassa are also struggling to respond and we hear the same situation time and time again. Someone wrote ‘the terror of the disaster is eclipsed only by its scale.’ It is vast. We need more churches and people to support this work now and not tire of this tragedy because these funds are making a real difference.
“What’s also unique about this Anglican community development work is that it’s all grassroots, local Mozambicans doing the work who are from these communities and know the issues and problems inside out. It is not the west swooping in and putting their solutions in place. The church is active in these remote rural areas where no other NGO’s are working.”
To find out how you or your church can help click here.
Photos: Diocese of Nampula/MANNA.