Green shoots in an old school

Green shoots in an old school

Currently we work in partnership with 5 Primary Schools to provide school meals for 1,000 children alongside 5 School Farms. 

Crimize School is at a distinct disadvantage; they are on the coast, sandy soil, little fresh water with scorching heat and hungry warthogs and monkeys to contend with. Yet, the community has taken these challenges in their stride and surprised us once again with their creative solution to these problems. 

The new school farm is inside the shell of the old school building! Perfect! They have carried in good soil and have been lovingly watering their crops by hand. The result - a green oasis with onions, tomatoes, lettuce and other vegetables. Incredible! 

Official Opening of the Lumuamua School

Primary school education in the beautiful village of Lumuamua was so poor that parents would send their young children on a 10km round walk to get to another village to go to school. The school (a mud hut) was in a state and the teacher was was either drunk or not at school. 

A couple of years ago, after much campaigning by the local village, they finally got a wonderful new school Director (headmaster), the school was repaired, we started our school meals project and the tiny mud school was bursting with enthusiastic school children once again. The biggest plea then from Lumamua, was to help them to build a new school. Last year the Nema team, headed up by Lisa, made this dream come true. On time and within budget the new Lumuamua Primary School opened it's doors to the children at the end of last year. This week, Gustavo and the team attended the official opening of the school. A fantastic day for everyone in Lumuamua village and all of us involved in Nema. In Gustavo's words...

Today was the ceremony were we handed over the Lumuamua Primary school to the Government. The school has 3 classrooms, one double toilet and a water catchment system so the children can drink safe water while at school. The ceremony was wonderful; dancing, singing, smiles, enormous pride and satisfaction. 

There were many speeches, including one by the District Administrator. She was very grateful to Nema and to all the donors, who made it possible, so that the children can have better future. And she assured us that the government is opened for future plans and projects made possible by Nema.

The Community Leader was also extremely happy and grateful, and ready to work with Nema again on other projects! He encouraged all the members of the community to take their children to school instead of fishing and farming. We had the presence of the media, National Radio station, they recorded the ceremony and I spoke on behalf of Nema and all the donors, saying that it was a big accomplishment not only for Nema and the Government, but also for the community.

A New Bakery

It's been proven over again, that one of the best ways of helping to reduce poverty is to empower women to generate their own income. With this in mind, last year we helped a group of women from Naunde village set up a Bakery. As always, there were plenty of challenges, but the project has been a great success so the Nema team were keen to help another group of women to do the same. So, one of the first things Gustavo, Nema's new Manager, has done is to help set up a new Bakery in Nambija village. So, in his words, here's what the team were up to last week...

The Nema team, along with Carlos (an very talented chef from Guludo Beach Lodge), ran a training day for a new Women’s Bakery Association at Nambija. Carlos taught them how the oven works and how to make bread. While the Nema team started training the group on how to start selling the bread and earn an income with their new business.

We manage to hand over to them all the necessaries materials. We all love this project; it is a great opportunity for them to improve their health, and start a new business, since there is no bakery in the community. The bread will be sold at affordable prices within the village and beyond.

The group were very thankful, happy and enthusiastic about the project. Nema will continue to support and encourage this small business to grow in it's success. I think the pictures to tell the rest of the story!

Cakes!

The ladies in Naunde have been doing a great job baking bread and working together to gain some money and some dignity.  Like everyone here they are impatient for great things are not quite sure how to get there.

Step by step we’re trying to show them.

This week we taught them how to make cakes. The mestre de bolos (master of the cakes) Carlos and the whole Nema team (only hoping to get free cake I imagine) turned up on Saturday to cake baking lessons. 

Carlos tastes the bread he taught the ladies how to make whilst he waits for the cakes to be mixed.

Carlos tastes the bread he taught the ladies how to make whilst he waits for the cakes to be mixed.

It’s amazing what turns up when you’re looking for it.  A few weeks ago mission in pemba:  get cake pans.  Easier than it sounded when before I got to town I met a boy on the street selling them.  When I said I wanted 2 he immediately dropped the price, so, good to go.

It’s not quite as easy when you don’t have electricity and the mixing of the sugar and margarine to Carlos’s satisfaction took a long time (and time stands still when you also have malaria and really just want to be in bed). 

Eventually, the ladies are allowed to add the eggs, fold in the flour (my mum taught me to bake well) and line the pans with margarine. 

Off to the oven, it’s so hot that it really doesn’t take long to bake a cake here, and in the meantime the kids licked the bowls clean; happy memories!

Wanna lick the bowl?!

Wanna lick the bowl?!

25 mins later………………………….

Now the ladies are ready to bake cakes to order, taking orders from locals for weddings, parties etc, first up I have an order to take to my mates in Pemba at the weekend, but Abudu will be forced to buy some for his upcoming wedding, followed shortly by the birth of his first child. 

There are plenty more people we can encourage to buy cakes:  of course the cost is graduated:  higher for me than anyone else, that’s gratitude…………………

The completion of Lumuamua school

“Now we’re sure, when Nema make a promise, they will deliver us great things”:  Lumuamua school director yesterday when we handed over the school to him.  

As the kids danced inside their new classrooms we laughed with them at another great successful project.  A building we hope brings greater things to the village of lumuamua. 

In just 5 months we have built 3 classrooms, to government standards, a latrine block and a water catchment system. This is not just a school, it’s an attempt to improve all things in life for these kids; a better place to study, improved hygeine standards and cleaner drinking water. 

With a combination of our school lunch programme and the new building, and a good school director who keeps the students in school every day, this school will achieve near 100% attendance every day.

In the many times I’ve visited here in the last 3 months I’ve never witnessed a day of missed school from the director or the 2 teachers, one of which is female.  It’s a well run school where the motivation and drive are top down and I see energised and enthusiastic students. 

When I asked the students if they liked their new school they all jumped up and down with a resounding “sim”.  I asked them if they were going to help the clean-up, again a resounding “sim”.  Then they ran to the school jumping up and down in the classrooms and singing. It’s great to see the village and school spirit here.

One of our main contacts has been a member of the school executive committee, he has also been the warehouse keeper and great supporter, and he was very keen for us to bring him some paint so he could paint “the Nema school of Lumuamua” on the wall.  He just couldn’t stop smiling. 

Abacar now takes his 2 weeks of holiday that he has left, and we’re waiting to see what our next big project is. 

I was in Manica yesterday for a great meeting with the school committee, village chief and another really good young school director.  They are desperate for their school shack to be converted into a brick building.  It’s the beginning of the rainy season and we’re not going to risk building projects that big during the rains:  there’s the risk of collapsing the building and it’s really dangerous to drive a heavily laden car on the wet muddy roads. 

That gives us time to find the funds and make a good plan to get the community fully engaged in the project:  they are making a good start with lots of proactive questions showing a desire to get their school built.

We must say a big “nishikuru” to all our donors and supporters, this school was built in partnership with a grant from the Waterloo Foundation and our partner charity Maninga:  muito obrigada. 

SOAP IN NACATUCO

The success of the soap company in Ningaia made us think we should reproduce the opportunities for the ladies in another village, without taking away income of course. So, in my “spread the love” campaign of trying to support equally all the villages in our area (despite the increased fuel costs), we decided that Nacatuco would be the lucky winners of the next opportunity. 

After meeting with the chefe de aldeia, another whose waking moments are somewhat lacking even though he seems lots younger than the chefe in Guludo and so should not be quite so sleepy, he got together a group of enthusiastic ladies, some more meetings, meetings with the ladies to explain that this was not a salary, this was a opportunitry to set up a business, meetings with the Ningaia ladies to explain this would not compromise their business but create sisters for them to work with, and the final meeting we took a few of the Ningaia ladies to explain it all and make sure that the Nacatuco ladies had a suitable yard to work in.

We arrived yesterday, with all of the Ningaia ladies in the car, merrily singing away, it was pretty cool actually!

After very polite introductions where the ladies were very shy but stood up and introduced themselves to their new sisters, head of the Ningaia association, Laura set about demonstrating the soap making process to the Nacatuco ladies. 


Once the demonstration was over, the ladies of Nacatuco made their own soap so we completed the day with 8 bars ready to dry and be sold.  We spent a long time explaining the process of making business decisions, how and where to sell, dividing the villages up into areas for the groups and how thinking about supply of material.

So, 10 more ladies with an opportunity to make a bit of money to improve their lives, financially and with dignity.  This is development. 

The kids watch through the fence, it was very well disciplined and controlled in this yard.

The kids watch through the fence, it was very well disciplined and controlled in this yard.

Whilst the village chief sleeps!

Whilst the village chief sleeps!

SCHOOL FEEDING PROGRAMME UPDATE 2015

Nema currently supports 5 schools in the school feeding programme (locally called matafome:  kill hunger).  In total for 2015 there are 997 children in these 5 schools receiving a nutritious meal every day, encouraging school attendance, giving them a much more balanced diet and giving them energy and brain concentration levels to enhance their studying.  This is a proven development intervention which gives these children a much better start in life and a greatly improved chance of future success. 

The programme runs alongside Nema’s other education initiatives of building primary schools to give communities pride in educating their children and motivate the teachers and a sponsorship programme for secondary schools scholars for the good students to continue education to 12th grade, and for the successful few beyond into tertiary education. 

Nema have historically purchased ready-made corn-soya blend from a World Health Organisation factory in Mozambique.  However, this year an alternative, grown in Cabo Delgado is about to be trialled.  Purchasing locally grown soya and maize Nema will mix the blend in 2 trial schools to see how a local alternative compares.  A successful conclusion to this trial will mean a more sustainable solution;  in the short term buying locally is better for local producers and cheaper for Nema, in the long term if good food can be produced locally the ultimate aim is for the schools to produce their own food. Although the trial is only baby steps, it is baby steps in the right direction.

Concurrently Nema will be buying CSB from the factory to ensure that all of the children still eat in schools every day, bringing together valuable messages about the importance of education, nutrition and health for a better future for these children. 

Nema provide all of the plates, cups, spoons and pots for the programme and in each village there are 2 volunteers ladies who cook and clean for the project. 

For each child per year the programme costs £30 for a full year of food and support, including transport for distribution and replenishing pots and pans, this is a low cost intervention with huge impact and real importance in these rural communities where school attendance is low and malnutrition is high.  The programme schools have close to 100% attendance and the children are less stunted in their growth (a key indicator of malnutrition).  For the cost of chicken in a basket and a beer in your local you could help lift a child out of poverty.

Thanks for your support

Lisa and the Nema team. 

Women’s Enterprise Oven in Naunde

Empowerment and opportunity are the key to sustainable development.  Asking the local chief for nominations, and following on from the success of the soap project, we found a group of 10 ladies in Naunde who wanted to be part of the next women’s enterprise project:  bread.

We spent  long time meeting with the ladies and deciding how, where and who was going to do what and the ladies changed their minds and members swapped regularly over the 4 months of consultation, but the one lady who was constant was Alima Chali, the head, always at the meetings on time and always galvanising the other ladies. Her house was chosen as the site of the oven and construction started with an awning of local grass to protect the mud oven construction.  Employing local people we made 700 bricks of local mud and using an old piece of landcruiser leaf springs and other local material and the oven was built. 

It was a long process where a few of the women left as they wanted immediate results, but development is not like that:  the process is as important as the end result, as the process will ensure the right end result and long term involvement of the beneficiaries. 

Trained by one of the Guludo kitchen staff a few weeks ago the ladies started bread making in earnest last week.  Given the slow start the upwards trend is very positive. When I visited on Saturday they have organised themselves into a production line and are producing 60 lovely bread rolls a day, and now, even during Ramadan they are all sold (Saturday I bought for the orphan children but they are sold every day anyway).   

These 60 bread rolls make the 10 ladies about 160 meticais a day, which can change the lives of the ladies and their families.

We hope to grow this project, over time, by teaching the ladies how to make cakes so they can take orders for weddings and other ceremonies such as Eid and increase they standard of living gradually and sustainably.  Even now they are only dependent on us for transport and a bit of bookkeeping, this need will diminish and ultimately they will be independent in their business and their lives.  

Hero of the week/month/year/forever

There aren’t a lot of good, trustworthy drivers out here so finding one is so exciting.  After driving tests with a few lovely guys who burnt the clutch, reved into the red (if we had a rev counter that is) and couldn’t find second gear, we found Abudu. 

Abudu is my hero.

The Nema car is an old decrepit landcruiser which is a superstar car but needs a lot of TLC….. A lot of TLC, to get it through the day. Despite paying for repairs to what seems like all moving parts of the car we still have random engine cut-outs, days when it really does not want to start and a radiator that is equal hole and radiator.  How it still runs is anyone’s guess but without Abudu I’m guessing it really would not run at all. 

Not only is he nurse to the Nema land cruiser but he is general all round good chap.  I’ve seen him help with everything at every possible opportunity and he is frequently caught doing all sorts of jobs.  Not only that but he takes the initiative with simple things like washing the car and takes pride in his work.  Frequently dirtier than even me (I have a keen attraction to dirt) and working longer hours than almost anyone else I’ve never heard him moan.  He really is a gem. 

Unloading bricks from the car for the oven project  

Unloading bricks from the car for the oven project

 

Like all people here Abudu’s history is difficult to decipher.  He was schooled to 5th grade in a frontier town on the Tanzanian border. He’s worked driving a mini-bus and has some (invaluable) training as a mechanic.  As is custom, he has a plethora of women and children in his past, though most days he says he has 2 kids in Macomia and no current women in Guludo.  He has family in Guludo, his uncle is the local chapa driver and mechanic and this is where he got his training. 

Randomly funny, though not always deliberately, he is good company on long journeys and will always go the extra mile.  I’m not sure what we would do without him. 

Ambulances, Finally (Part 1)

It was my lovely predecessor, Marieke, who started off the process of buying the motorbike ambulances.  Now we have 2. 

Last week 3 women gave birth on the road on the way to the hospital.  That’s not good.  We would not accept it in the “west”, why should ladies here have to go through that pain, risk and indignity?  They shouldn’t.

As well as pregnant women we have our fair share of accidents, emergencies, grave sicknesses and old people here too, many of whom are too weak to walk to the hospital, up to 20km away.  And back again the same day of course.

So, awesome idea, ambulances……..

Enter E-ranger, maker of ambulances, easy right, buy, import, support, oh no, not so easy!

Enter alfandiga (customs), bureaucracy, processes, money, more bureaucracy and some jobsworths in the middle.  That was fun.  With a little help from our friends the ambulances finally arrived at Guludo last week, 5 months after they were paid for with some obligatory comedy (the boat came to Mozambique from Durban via the Canary Islands if the original bill of loading was to be believed, we think they just came on a different boat but I was somewhat surprised when trying to track the boat to see it docking in Grand Canaria!) and some very obligatory bureaucratic moments.  

After a bit of fiddling by a mechanic in Pemba, the bikes run nicely and were loaded onto a big truck for their Passage to Guludo.

Arranged with the help of another of my lovely predecessors, neither of us could look as the ambulances were manhandled onto the truck.  She’s fortunate not to see how they came off at the other end……

So, here they are, potentially lifesaving pieces of equipment.  We’ve tested them out with the team as drivers and patients and they go along the roads pretty well, it’s actually quite impressive, once Manuel got the hang of driving anyway:  it’s not good to do something so publically, so badly, but the circles that he made to start off with proved the turning circle of the bikes is good! 

Still to properly introduce them to the community, tomorrow: driver tests, more to come on that.

We’ve committed to supporting them for 2 years, including fuel and drivers, and we think this is a great intervention that will greatly enhance the potential to reach medical care in a reasonable timeframe and save lives.

Of course, the budget has already been exceeded (TIA) due to our favourite alfandegas.  If anyone has a little change in their pocket and feels that it could help us in this endeavour please donate through our website:  http://www.nemafoundation.org/  

Matafome arrives.

Matafome means “kill hunger” and that’s exactly what the enhanced maize, soya and sugar mix called CSB does.  It also encourages children to school as they get fed and helps with concentration and intellectual growth as well as physical growth.  For a relatively small amount of money, £50 per child per year, each of the 1,000 children in the 5 schools we support gets a meal every school day and additional support for the schools to become more self-sufficient with school farms and income generating opportunities. 

Last year the factory where the CSB is made was shut to rebuild the production line.  Whilst my predecessor had stocked up as much as possible given our storage conditions we had no matafome for the second term of last year.  After extensive research on the world’s worst internet connection I determined that JAM, our suppliers, were the only suppliers of this kind of food in-country and import fees are such that the costs of getting food from other countries is prohibitive. 

So, for the third term of last year we bought enhanced maize and pigeon pea, a highly nutritious bean.  Sadly, as it was locally purchased and therefore a great alternative, it was not popular as the cooking process was a bit more complicated and although the children got fed and were very happy, the food was complained about by some of the schools. 

This year the JAM factory has reopened and we managed to get ourselves to number 2 on their priority list. Of course, TIA and nothing is going to be simple.  We had an agreement to have the matafome delivered in Jan ready for the new term, we paid and were waiting for our delivery.  As the truck was prepared in Beira (3 days drive way) the rains began.  The rains washed away a bridge on the EN1 cutting off the northern 3 provinces.  So, no power, no phone signal, no supplies and no way for the truck with the matafome to get through.  Is that what they call an “act of God”?? They call it Inshallah here!

Eventually the bridge is repaired and the truck sets off.  Of course this story would not be complete without a truck break down. Luckily (??) it happened close to Beira and the JAM factory.  Sadly in true Mozambican style the communications were poor, and we were quite unaware of the breakdown whilst merrily preparing plans to distribute matafome, and a nice plate of food for the driver and his assistant at the lodge.

A few weeks later the truck arrives in Mucojo and this is what happens to it there:

Once again the old Nema landcruiser to the rescue.  

Once again the old Nema landcruiser to the rescue.  

Even though we have our donor Laura Tenison here to visit and of course other plans with her, she got to see first-hand the normal daily routine of faff and changing plans for Nema staff.  Having to do 5 runs to Mucojo to fetch 6 tonnes of food kept the car and the team (on their Sunday off) busy for the whole day and we decided that it would be more cost effective to distribute matafome to the schools on the way then try to do it another day, it also means that the children start eating sooner.

So, we distributed to Lumuama, Guludo and Ningaia on the same day:

And now the children get to eat every day and go to school and all for £50 per child per year. 

Breaking ground on a new school building...

The population of Crimize are some of our favourite people and my “fans” (who also know I’m being sarcasatic) will remember that they were one of the first communities that inspired me here, in my first few weeks as they were building  a school for their kids from their own money.

Instead of the bamboo temporary shelter they were valiantly constructing, Nema, in conjunction with our lovely partners at Maninga are now building a 3 room brick building with tin roof and run-off rainwater tank.  Not only did the amazing Gig at Maninga raise half of the money but she also applied to the Waterloo Foundation on our behalf, not an easy application form, for the other half.

The most important part of a development project is before any activities begin, not only in securing funding but we had extensive meetings with district government education officials, the traditional chiefs and government chiefs, the school committee, the school director and  the local population.  After all this was done we had signed memoranda from the district education department and the chief and head of the school committee in Crimize:  ready to start.

Communities here hear many promises from their own government and foreign agencies, so they were pretty sceptical at the beginning, but after the first pieces of equipment started arriving (we delivered the brick machines very early as a statement of intent) the energy in the village rose quickly as they realised we were serious.

So, after moving the block making machines, 150 bags of cement, mud, equipment and our very own Abacar to Crimize we began construction on 2 Feb.  

The block machine is going to get a pretty hefty workout with 4000 bricks to be made, Abacar’s already bulging biceps are not about to get a rest.

The block machine is going to get a pretty hefty workout with 4000 bricks to be made, Abacar’s already bulging biceps are not about to get a rest.

Concurrent activity being important to our ability to get this project done on time, micro management is required.  For this reason, lodge manager Rita volunteered to help us in her free time and she rapidly became “chefe de obras”, the chief of the construction.

Of course this is Africa, and rainy season Africa at that so nothing is anticipated to go smoothly, but so far we have not found anything we could not overcome, though we often come home to the need for a whiskey (and in Rita’s case burn cream after a small incident with Abacar’s motorbike)  it’s all been worth it. 

“Mestry” Abacar, and Abudu the Nema driver (master of all things car motor and here master of a tape measure) mark out the foundations.

“Mestry” Abacar, and Abudu the Nema driver (master of all things car motor and here master of a tape measure) mark out the foundations.

Breaking ground, the start of the foundations. 

Breaking ground, the start of the foundations. 

Indeed we are now very much into getting the foundations done and have already made over 700 bricks, for some this may seem slow in 2 weeks but for us, when we see progress every day, it’s small victories that count.  Even better we are making new friends along the way:  yesterday Abacar was telling me that his “servente” had got up early and had prepared all of the tools and the equipment ready for work, and on his own initiative had been making bricks on Sunday.  This attitude will win him paid work with us for a while and a call-back when we have more work, we like to reward this attitude.

So, 3 months to a new school in Crimize and then on to Luamuama, after all, would you want your kids to go to this school?


A Letter from a Scholar

We received this lovely letter from Anfai, one of the Nema scholars who is starting medical school in Pemba this month.

My name is Anfai Antumane, son of Antumane Anfai and Dia Anli, I am a 20 years old natural from Guludo Village, Macomia district. I was one of the Nema students at Escola Secundaria Padre Paulo de Macomia during the year 2008 to 2012. The present letter was written to thank Nema Foundation for all support given during my years as a student, an unforgettable opportunity I was given to pursue my studies which I embraced.

Previously it was really difficult for a student from Mucujo to conclude the 12th grade, most of my colleagues did not complete secondary school, some couldn’t afford to pursue their studies, and others didn’t have where to live. Facing all these difficulties most of my colleague dropped school after 7th grade. Illiteracy in Mozambique is a reality that keeps growing but initiatives like the Nema scholarship make it easier for Mucujo students to attend secondary school, nowadays there are a few more students who concluded 12th grade.

After starting secondary school I learnt countless new things: living with other people, sense of responsibility, team work and availability to work with colleagues among other things. Nema was always there supporting me with matriculation fees, accommodation fees, transportation (even to come back on holiday), study materials such as notebooks, pencils, pens, etc.

With Nema’s support I felt safe and eager to study hard but it wasn’t always easy. So much had changed, boarding school was sometimes challenging: many new rules, conduct norms, some of them difficult to understand nevertheless I managed to triumph and finish my studies! After completing 12th grade I applied for a General Medicine Technician course (TMG). When I did the exam I managed to get 16,1 points out of 20 and was number twelve on the list, I had approved to get into medical school, yet it didn’t happen that year and I couldn’t attend the course. Other colleagues who did understand the system better managed to get their name up on the list. This wasn’t at all possible for me as I couldn’t afford to pay and my name was already on the list. Even so, I desperately wanted to get in and even asked my father if we could pay, here is what he said: “You need to pass and make it to that list with your knowledge, be patient, one day doors will open for you, there is always hope…”. I went to that institution again and again but they kept saying “come back tomorrow”, “maybe next week”. I didn’t make it into medical school as planned, that was all I wanted and my plan for the future. My father recommend for me to come back home and wait, maybe one of the students would drop off and then I would have my opportunity, it was too difficult to wait, to deal with all frustrations, colleagues, neighbours, the disappointment… Listening to my father was difficult at the time but following his ideals seemed the right thing to do, he would just say “Fear not, you are a natural”.

While I was in secondary school I always dreamt of becoming a doctor, still fighting to make my dream real. Giving up is wasn’t an option so I studied harder and applied this year again and made it into medical school with 73%. At that school some of the workers were no longer the same, some had left, some rules had changed, and corruption was minimized. Finally I have my opportunity and want to inform Nema that next January I will be attending medical school in Pemba, at Centro de Formacao de Saude. We are gathering all documentation needed at the moment, it’s real. 

Words are not enough to express how thankful I am and there isn’t anything in the world I can think of that could pay back what  you have done for me. Many times I found myself thinking of Nema and wanted to share these words, not even for a moment I forgot all support received during secondary school and I will proudly say to everyone that I amNema student, I will always be. This is my opportunity, I will embrace it and if it is God’s will this is just the beginning.

Accept my most sincere apologies for not delivering this letter in person, there is a lot I need to prepare but I couldn’t move forward without thanking you all for your support, specially to the Nema workers for always inspiring to keep going. My very best regards to all of you, my readers included, and a glorious hug. Thank you all.

p.s. – My goal in sharing all this delightful information is to let Nema know how I was, how I have been, and how my future will look like. 

 Kind Regards,

Anfai Antumane

Pemba, November 2014

These are some pictures of current secondary school scholars supported by Nema… 

A New Bakery!

These are the ladies of our new enterprise. In the garden of Alima’s (far right) house we are going to build a oven, the ladies will make bread to sell at the market and support weddings and parties with cakes and breads. We love projects that empower local people and create an independent future. These spirited and funny women are looking forward to their new project.

These 1 day old twins, Rabia and Momace, with mum and gran are in remarkably good health. They were born in the Naunde health centre yesterday and are being let home today. Mum looks tired but who can blame her? They are so small but so cute. Sadly in the Naunde health clinic 2 babies have died in child birth this week: there are so many good news stories here but so much more work to be done.

Development and living in another culture is never easy but sometimes it’s so rewarding. After a meeting about the new school build in Crimize the chefe de aldeia stood up, as always, and gave his thanks to us for our work and encouraged the village to make the most of the opportunities we offer. As we shook hands as I was leaving, he said “estamos juntos”, “we are together”, and that’s why we stay out here doing what we do: because people like the chefe de Crimize are worth it and make the most of the help we offer, leading his people to uma boa vida.