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Experience #7 - Maputo, Mozambique

The time we are spending in Mozambique has been so special that only post wouldn’t be enough to tell about the incredible projects that we met here. Fe already wrote about some of them and took the opportunity to tell more about the country’s history. – If you didn’t read yet, click here. – The social and politic backbone brought in the last Experience help us to better understand the challenges faced by the Mozambican people.

One of them is practicing solidarity, which is directed related to volunteering.

Mozambique was already considered one of the poorest countries in the world and the protagonist of many international actions for humanitarian aid. So many foreign investments could have contributed to the inertia of the population, which seems to have unlearned how to help each other. An evidence is that the majority of the initiatives related to social development is created and conducted by foreigners and almost don’t have support from the government, neither local society.

From this contradiction – people who need help, but don’t know how to help each other – raised up Mozup. A platform to promote volunteering created by four friends who decided to use their experience in Mozambique to plant a new seed in the society – which will give precious fruits.

Carlota Vilalva, Eduarda Vaz, Marta Ribeiro and Teresa Graça, one Brazilian and three Portuguese, respectively, that chose to reunion their talents to connect organizations that need volunteers and volunteers that don’t know how to start.

For those who are following Think Twice Brasil, probably already read about Atados – Juntando Gente Boa, which is a Brazilian initiative that enables the connection between NGOs and volunteers. Mozup goes through the same genius path! They have already been in contact to exchange ideas… After all, the main purpose is simply to do good. It doesn’t matter whether in Brazil, in Mozambique or around the world.

We followed closely Mozup’s work, especially Carlota, who was in charge to present us the transforming projects and with them we saw the crescent impact of the actions they have been developing. In only five months of work, Mozup already has twelve NGOs as partners and I wish it grows big in the next months.

Mozup’s dream? To awake and cultivate volunteering among the Mozambicans, once they know better than anyone what their own people need and how it can be done. During the conversation we had with Carlota, we could also remember one of our principles “Happiness is only real when shared”, when she told us that if everybody could know how good the feeling of doing the good is, the world would be a better place. The video below shows more about this talk.

Thanks to Carlota we also met Osvaldo Lourenço, as an exception to the average, is Mozambican from Beira, charismatic and founder of the Associação Cultural Muodjo.

During the years the country was under a civil war, Osvaldo was still a little boy and suffered its consequences, mainly in the period that he lived in the streets. By that time he awakened for his biggest dream: work to avoid that other children could pass through the same difficulties he had.

When he still lived in the streets of Maputo, Osvaldo was helped by a missionary who gave him the opportunity to change his own story and understand the meaning of what he now strongly defends: “nobody lives for himself”.

As the years passed by, Osvaldo’s dream became a reality that now changes the life of many children: the Muodjo.

Muodjo is darkness, precisely from where Osvaldo want to take out the children and youth through education. There are a lot of programs that goes from literacy to professionalization, including special attention to people with physical and visual disability.

Muodjo’s activities happen in Matendene district, which appeared on 2000, after the floods that devastated the city and obligated families that lost everything to build again their lives in another place.

We also talked to the school principal, Marta Cavel, and we could feel the love among children and volunteers. Marta gently took us to some of the classrooms, introduced us to the children and we were received with claps, songs and dances.

Marta, just like Osvaldo, is pure inspiration. She left her position as a teacher of an international school of Maputo to dedicate full time and exclusively to educate Muodjo’s children. For her “we are here just for a short while”, so the best we can leave is love. I felt this feeling with the children hugging my back and my neck

Love again. The solution seems to be so simple…

When we left there, I asked Fe how the world would be if it was composed only by children. It would have a lot of bullying, for sure. But there would be also purity, innocence, friendship and love. It’s because we are born aware of loving. Children love anything. Dad, mom, weird uncles, unknown people, cartoons…

However in certain moments of life we start to believe that we should choose who deserves our love, but in fact we can love everybody and be loved by them as well. Love doesn’t need to make choices. Who loves and is loved, is simply chosen.

Carlota, Osvaldo, Marta, Fe, myself and all the people that crossed our path are an evidence of that. Love guided us and our mission chosen us.

And I just have to thank for that



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