Project Compassion 2013: Hope for the future in Mozambique


Project Compassion 2013: Week 1 Story

Ditosa, 12, lives in the village of Matuba in Mozambique. Her parents died of AIDS related illnesses some years ago, so Ditosa and her little sister, Fique, 7, are cared for by their grandmother and aunt who are both HIV positive and too weak to work.

An extremely poor community, most of the houses are built of mud bricks and there is no sewerage system. Two years ago a water pump was installed in the village, so Ditosa no longer has to walk two kilometres to collect water.

Many children in this area have lost one or both of their parents to AIDS. In Mozambique, an estimated 11.5 percent of adults live with HIV (Source: UNICEF 2009).

Continuing support for the people of Matuba

Project Compassion 2013 News Story
Ditosa. Photo: Erin Johnson

With a generation missing and many grandparents struggling to provide for grandchildren, in 2007 Caritas Chokwe coordinated the Matuba Children’s Centre and Caritas Australia supplied the funding.

Here, children learn about computers, carpentry and handicrafts; receive help with homework; grow vegetables to eat and sell, learn about health, nutrition and hygiene, plus they are provided with antiretroviral drugs (ARVs) to help manage HIV/AIDS.

With your support, Matuba Children’s Centre opens doors for children and young people; they find hope for the future and a safe place where they can grow.

“The love that I have for my own children is the love that I have for these children too,” said Elvira Mabundi, Centre Coordinator.

In late January, strong flooding caused significant damage in the Chokwe District in Mozambique, including Ditosa’s village in Matuba.

Ditosa’s community was forced to relocate 30km away to a camp in Chiaquelane, where it is estimated more than 70,000 people have fled. Across this southern region of Mozambique there are more than 150,000 people affected by the devastating floods.

Caritas Chokwe Director Mama Cacilda has informed Caritas Australia that this is the worst flooding she has seen in Matuba since 2000. Many houses, including Ditosa’s, have been severely damaged, as most are built of mud brick. The Matuba Children’s Centre and surrounding buildings have been resistant to the flooding so far. Mama Cacilda also reports that Ditosa, her family and community residents are now safe in the camp.

Caritas Australia is providing immediate emergency response to help the affected communities, including Matuba, working with CAFOD (Caritas Australia’s counterpart in England and Wales) to provide shelter, food and water, sanitation and medical supplies.

Through the Matuba Children’s Centre, Project Compassion has helped the most vulnerable people of Matuba access food, nutrition, medical services, educational support and livelihood training.

The people of Matuba are now stronger and have more resilience to respond quickly to these repetitive floods that devastate their community.

After its immediate emergency response phase, Caritas Australia, through Project Compassion, will continue to support the people of Matuba, helping rebuild their vibrant community so the residents can look to the future with hope in their hearts.

Your contribution to Project Compassion 2013 will help people to build better lives for themselves, their families and their communities.

To make a donation pick up an envelope or collection box from your parish or school or donate online at Caritas Australia

« Return to news list