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Our Journey to Mozambique: Keep Hope Alive

photo courtesy of Sandy Grubb

photo courtesy of Sandy Grubb

Poverty is messy and complicated. But it’s also solvable… if we don’t give up.

On August 14—21, I traveled with eight women from Columbia-Willamette Women of Vision to Mozambique to see the WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene) projects we’ve been funding and praying for. We laughed and cried with the children and families and came home inspired all over again to do all that we can to keep hope alive.

Mozambique is ranked 178th out of 187 countries on the United Nation’s Human Development Index (the U.S. is number 5). The people suffer in extreme poverty. Once colonized by Portugal, Mozambique won their independence in 1975 after ten long hard years of battle. This was followed by sixteen years of civil war during which one million were killed and four million displaced. World Vision arrived on the scene during the civil war, bringing humanitarian aid. Two years after the war’s end, World Vision was finally able to transition to development work, at the same time the HIV epidemic was ravaging communities.

By 1998, World Vision’s area development programs were organized and children were being sponsored. The dawning hope was short-lived, however, as the years 2000 and 2001 brought the worst cyclones and flooding the country has ever known. Millions were forced to flee their homes as water washed away all they owned along with their crops.

Given this background, we were amazed to find communities rich in joy and courage, looking toward their future, believing in a better world for their children. World Vision never gave up. They have provided significant resources for digging boreholes, building health clinics and schools, and advocating with government leaders for the well-being of children. But the most important intervention World Vision brings is hope. With hope, people can rebuild, they can plan for the future, they can find the life Christ intended for them.

A snapshot of World Vision Mozambique:

– 829 staff (including only 16 expats)
– Touching the lives of 3.5 million people, including 1 million children
– 81,962 children sponsored

Since 2012, MozWASH accomplishments:

– 241 boreholes finished (1,443 to be completed by 2017)
– 52,449 sanitation facilities constructed (159,637 by 2017)
– 1,216 water committees formed (4,367 by 2017)

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