Community Development

12:00 AM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

We have been working with a community to improve their water. The water they have been drinking to date, was dirty and polluted. Bad water effects communities in so many ways. It contributes to poverty as people suffer with illnesses particularly diarrhoea which keeps them out of their gardens. This means they don't plant as much as they could, causing suffering later in the year.

Bad water also increases the mortality rate. Diarrhoea is said to kill more people in Africa than malaria. To improve water quality saves lives.
This community had 150 students in the school. Because of the bad water, families have moved further away from the main road but closer to a river. The school was down to 75 students and more intending to leave. In a culture that values family as much as Mozambique this effects the quality of life for the people.
The community have contributed to the well by every household carting 15 stones each to site along with cement bricks and the sand. The men dug the hole. Then with the help of Life Church we have provided the bricks, cement, steel, the well builder and the pump. We also transported all materials within 3km of site.
The success of this water project can be measured by the clean water and the community's participation. The community leader is quite motivated but struggles to get the people onboard. We worked with him saying if the people don't help build the well, this tells us they don't really want clean water so we will go elsewhere. Twice we walked away, saying we were done because of the lack of community participation and twice the leader motivated the people to do their part before calling us to return, saying that our expectations had been met.
Now the young leader has runs on the board, the people have successfully worked together and they have achieved a great result. I will be happy to work in this community on future projects due to the improvement in people's self motivation. I also am encouraged to believe that they will help themselves in other ways knowing what they already been able to achieve!



11:46 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

As part of our community development I have been spending time with a Moises who is a well builder. He understands our ministry goal of requiring the community to take part in helping themselves so that they are empowered for the future. This man does not go to church yet asks serious questions about God. Kim was traveling with us today and was listening to our conversation about how to find God's blessing, how to know what He wants you to do and how to tell if a person is called to ministry or if they thought it was a good idea. She remarked that this is an example of someone watching what we do and seeing the gospel.
We are currently taking enrolments for our bible college. Moises has asked if he could enrol. I replied which Pastor will write your recommendation as he doesn't go to church. We train church leaders and want men and women who are serious about ministry to take part. Moises is a leader, he has his own association that makes construction materials and he is true to his word. Many years ago he had an problem when he was drunk so he gave up drinking. This is a form of repentance, as he saw drinking was bad for him and he changed. I told Kim I will give him his letter of recommendation, it won't be the first unsaved person in our course, maybe just the first without the title of pastor.


11:23 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

We have been meeting with the Association for People with Disabilities, to help the members in different ways. In our area they have 25 members, 16 of whom have difficulty walking. Recently we were able to give some wheel chairs to a number of their members thanks to the generosity of Rotary International. We hope to soon have more to give away.
We have also looked at business development as many of these people have small businesses. We have asked for business development plans in the hope that a few micro loans of $100-$200 may become available to help these people. We spoke to them about the concept of micro loans and the need to pay the funds back, that way they develop their business, not just receive a handout that helps them in the short term. I will meet with the Administrator of our district on their behalf to give them some simple ideas to assist this group of people in our community. Beatriz (in the photo) received a wheelchair. She buys and sell charcoal and carries it on her head whilst crawling on her hands to the market and back. Beatriz is unable to rise above a squat so a wheelchair for her will be life changing.

Mr Winston, the President of the Association for People with Disabilities, lives in the same road as us. Today one of the walls of his house collapsed after three days of rain. It was mud brick without render so the moisture set in and weakened the wall, it happens quite often but only to those who are unable to afford to cement render their houses. Mr Winston has an oven that he bakes bread in to sell in the market. There is a new bakery opening up in town so he may have to find a new business to run, please pray that he gets a good business idea and he is able to repair his house soon, which means we need some dry weather so the wall can be rebuilt.

Maforga Christian Primary School

4:35 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

At the end of December 2013 our involvement with the primary school came to a close as we handed Maforga Christian Primary School over to Principal Arone and Vice Principal Danito, who are the school's Mozambican leadership. They now have four years experience in their roles and have proven themselves very capable. The main concern they expressed was management of the business. We were all confident of the ability they have to maintain the high standard of education but the African method of money management had them concerned. The mission where the school is based obtained the service of an experienced retired couple to oversee the chicken project. This will continue to provide funds for the school. Please pray for this to be successful and 2014 be a year of increase for the school. 
We are grateful for your financial support and the opportunity MCPS gave us to be involved in education in Mozambique and we will seek new opportunities to assist children in education. 

Our ministry with children has continued through new programs of Religious Education in public schools and Sunday Schools in community churches. 


How do you believe war affects children?

9:30 PM Harts for Africa 0 Comments

In response to a question from a friend.
Children growing up in a war affected country often miss out on the opportunity for education which then effects the rest of their lives. I know 40 year old African men and women who have gone back to school now, to get the education they missed out on when they were children because of war.
Children lose family members. Armies seek solders by forcing men and older boys off their lands to join them. The choice is simple join or die. Fit, strong men, in the prime of their lives are taken and die resulting in the loss of a country's greatest resource - it's people. These countries are then left in poverty with little hope of a quick recovery. Families don't have fathers or male role models. Children born into war enter life destined for poverty unless they break the odds and rise above it. How sad that poverty is yours unless you do something extraordinary and get yourself above your friends and all because leaders choose war to settle their differences where you were born. The grass suffers when the elephants fight.
I have a friend who watched her parents get shot in their own home when she was a child. Even now as an adult she can't stand loud noise including fireworks. She never feels completely safe in her own home. Her father was part of town security when an army came for recruits.
I have other friends who as little children watched their parents shot. The scars are not visible but very real.
When war forces people off their lands the children never get their land back. Thus they lose their parents and their inheritance. In countries where families are the most important part of life (embedded societies), being removed from their land takes away children's identity. Africans tell me they are different than westerners because they are attached to the land they come from. They long to go back even if it has a harsher climate then the one they are living in. Children removed during war have very little opportunity to go back.
Communities are formed from displaced people  after war moves on and is forgotten by outsiders of these communities, children are left without elders, parents and lands. These communities are not a safe place to grow up in in comparison to their home village that no longer exists or they no longer have a place in.
Children are resilient and will play and laugh in war zones yet the horror, tragedy and loss remains with them for ever. Nobody wins a war.