MozCause.com - Escola Primaria de Mafacitela
Escola Primaria de Mafacitela is a small, government-funded primary school located in a rural region of Gaza Province, Mozambique.

“MozCause is raising the bar for education in Mozambique while restoring the natural environment and increasing quality of life for current and future generations.”

 

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News from Mafacitela  
AUG 23 2014

School Visit: Part II

In my last post, I shared a few sentiments regarding a visit I made to Escola Primaria de Mafacitela in late June. It was such a pleasure to speak at length with the headmaster, Gervásio Inácio Bambo, as we created a list of projects to raise money for over the next few years. Admittedly, there is so much work to do that it seemed quite difficult to prioritize projects with concern to cost, importance, and logistics. This discussion went on for some time, especially since every statement had to be followed by a translation from Jimmy, our able assistant. Even this arrangement came about by a stroke of luck.

For starters, apart from a few Portuguese phrases and a few greetings in a handful of African languages, I am only fluent in English. Jimmy, on the other hand, is Zimbabwean. That means that he can speak several African languages, but not Portuguese, the main language spoken in Mozambique. Finally, Gervásio’s mother tongue is Portuguese. But by a stroke of luck, he is fluent in Shangaan, which is Jimmy’s native tongue from Zimbabwe, where it has spilled out over the border into certain rural areas of Mozambique. Shangaan was our winner!

With that taken care of, we were able to hash out a list of future projects, as follows:

1) A new well. $12,000The original well that was built by the government some years ago (pictured) is in good working order, but there is some bad news. For about 8 months of the year, excluding the summer wet season, the well only draws salt water, as the water table isn't high enough to yield fresh rain water. This creates unnecessary hard work for teachers that should be concentrating on one thing: teaching!

Well Photo

2) Plaster and paint newly-roofed school house. $500As many of you already know, we completed our first major project by re-roofing the original brick and mortar school house. It was then unfortunate that an official from Mozambique’s Ministry of Education paid a visit to the school, only to say that the school house cannot be used until it is plastered and painted. Considering the previous condition of the building, we were hoping the classrooms could be put to use in the meantime as we finished the building. Undeterred, and with the help of Búfalo Moçambique, we are happy to say that this project is already underway. Photos to come shortly!

Roof Photo

3) Make repairs to teachers’ building. $500About 50 yards from the original schoolhouse is the teachers’ building (pictured), shared by all three staff members of the school. This is not simply a building where they prepare lesson plans and grade papers, it is where they live as well. This is not in its own right a bad thing. In fact, they all stated that they are perfectly happy with their living arrangement. The problem is that the building itself could use a bit of work. There are sizable cracks in the exterior walls and the roof leaks during heavy rains.

Teachers Building

4) School supplies. $1,000Thanks so much to everybody who has purchased a t-shirt that contributes money to the‘Toucharitee’campaign, which aims to provide $1,000 worth of school supplies to the school. We are more than halfway to our goal. If you haven’t got your own yet, now is the time!

Shirts

Stay well everybody, and please email me with questions you may have about our projects.

toddamacker@mozcause.org

Todd Amacker Director, MozCause

JUL 01 2014

School Visit: Part I

After returning from a trip to rural Gaza Province, Mozambique, I’m proud to say that our visit to Escola Primaria de Mafacitela was incredibly productive. We arrived at the school early on a Tuesday morning. After a mediocre attempt on my part to greet the school’s headmaster, Gervásio Inácio Bambo, in Portuguese, his huge smile proved that it’s the thought that counts, and he extended a firm handshake.

MozCause director Todd Amacker greets Escola Primaria de Mafacitela headmaster Gervásio Inácio Bambo.

After thanking MozCause for our efforts in completing the roof construction, the next order of business was to discuss what to raise money for next. With help from our translator, Jimmy, we were able to drum up a list of important improvements that the school will certainly benefit from. I will delineate those improvements in a future post, but for now I’d like to keep the focus on Mafacitela’s students. These boys and girls, despite the many adversities that they face on a daily basis, are happy people. They walk to school from all corners of the sprawling village of Mafacitela, share the burden of many household duties, and are largely dependent on the laborious undertaking of subsistence farming. And yet, they greet visitors with a smile if given half a chance. This was so encouraging to witness after hearing from Mr. Bambo the many challenges that these children encounter.

Students from Escola Primaria de Mafacitela pause for a group portrait under the shade of a large tree. These children rarely, if ever, see what they look like, as mirrors are often an unattainable luxury.
An empty bottle filled with sand serves as a timer in a game played by students in Mafacitela, Gaza Province, Mozambique.

After speaking with the headmaster, I greeted another teacher, Abel Naisson Chunguane, and then asked for permission to amble around and take some photographs. Mr. Bambo encouraged me to do so, and it was such a pleasure to see the students enjoying life so much despite having so little. Most of the boys were enjoying a game of soccer, which I happily joined momentarily, while most of the girls played their own game that involved a mixture of baseball and dodge ball. Suddenly the bell rang, and the students ran back to their classroom, where their Portuguese lesson continued. I sneaked into the classroom to briefly observe the beginning of the lesson and then bowed out to return in a few days. I’ll share some more anecdotes and sentiments in my next post, but for now I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the lives of Mafacitela’s children as they patiently await much deserved improvements to their humble school in the Mozambican bush.

Todd Amacker Director, MozCause

FEB 19 2014

Dear MozCause followers,

It was more than two years ago when I first started spreading the word about a small school in rural Mozambique with huge potential. The school was not only fully-staffed but it instructed 96 students, all of whom spent their days being corralled in and out of a tiny temporary classroom. Why was it deemed temporary, you may ask? Because the original school building no longer had a roof.

Though Mozambicans are certainly tough people, they didn’t deserve to lack such a basic necessity, and the idea of a roofless school didn’t sit well with friends, family, and strangers around the world. We were able to raise more than $7,000 to replace the roof on the original school building.

Those who have had the privilege of visiting know that the continent of Africa is typically not in a huge hurry. And to make matters worse, big projects are naturally guaranteed to take months to get the ball rolling. Sure, this was a very pressing issue to solve, but the logistics of such a project came with a few headaches. Where do the building materials come from, when very few of them are available locally? How do we transport the materials? Who can we hire to begin construction? Who is the project foreman? How do we deal with excessive rain and flooding?

Needless to say, we’ve been able to prevail, as I can finally announce that the construction of the roof has begun (in the middle of a flood, mind you!). Thanks so much to everybody who has donated to the cause, encouraged the team, or aided with logistics on-the-ground. MozCause, as a Public Charity, was founded on the premise that rural Mozambicans are entitled to a clean, happy, safe learning environment. We have many projects to complete before this goal is achieved, but what better way to start than with a roof?

Todd Amacker Director, MozCause

JULY 9 2013

Dear MozCause followers,

We are really, really close to finally making our roof dreams become a reality. As with any project possessing pioneering qualities on the continent of Africa, there will always be delays, and our project is no different, but we remain steadfast in our endeavor to get this roof built no matter what. Currently, our partners in Mozambique are scouring the area in and around the village of Mafacitela in order to locate and price building materials necessary for the construction of the roof. They’re also speaking with locals in order to drum up labor for when it will be so badly needed.

Though we have raised more than $7,000 to date, we have set a goal of raising another $3,000 in order to ensure that a) the roof is completed without a hitch (there are always unforeseen circumstances) and b) we don’t have an empty bank account when our first project is finished!

Several of these prints are available for purchase. Visit Aqua or McDavid Interiors for a viewing.
I’ve been speaking with local businesses in the hopes that they can help me to sell a collection of beautiful prints that would almost certainly help us to reach our $3,000 goal. At the moment, these prints can be found at Aqua Décor & Design (www.aquadecoranddesign.com) and McDavid Interiors (www.deemcdavid.com). Please stop by their showroom and take a look. You can get your hands on an original print of a beautiful image while helping deserving children in rural Mozambique.

Also, our chari-tee sales continue as we are raising $1,000 for school supplies at Mafacitela Primary. Men’s and women’s sizes are available. Visit www.toucharitee.com.

Todd Amacker Director, MozCause

MAY 6 2013

Dear MozCause followers,

Our friends in Gorongosa National park, Mozambique, have some very exciting events on the horizon. Leading scientists from all over the world, accompanied by research students from South Africa, Mozambique, Poland, Belgium, Germany, and the USA are convening in central Mozambique for an unprecedented biological survey of the Cheringoma Plateau, located in an eastern section of Gorongosa.

This part of the park was chosen due not only to its broad diversity of natural habitats, but because it has remained to this day largely unexplored. In fact, Harvard biologist Dr. Piotr Naskrecki, who is leading the biological survey, says he wouldn’t be surprised if they were able to double the number of species previously recorded within the Park by the time they’re finished.

Which leads me to the next question you may be wondering; what exactly IS a biological survey? Dr. Naskrecki describes it as being able to “trap, record, photograph, sample, measure, weigh, track, trace, and triangulate every plant, mammal, bird, reptile, frog, dung beetle, ant, katydid, and praying mantis living here!”

This task, while it may seem a tall order, is absolutely vital to the conservation of the park’s ecosystems and the biodiversity that they accommodate. After all, you can’t conserve what you don’t even know about. According to EO Wilson, another Harvard biologist involved with the Gorongosa Restoration Project, “We should preserve every scrap of biodiversity as priceless while we learn to use it and come to understand what it means to humanity.”

Join me in wishing the research team in Gorongosa good luck during their biological survey, which is to run from April 16th to May 6th, 2013.

Todd Amacker Director, MozCause

MAR 7 2013

MozCause friends and followers,

It’s my pleasure to announce the launch of our new t-shirt sale, in collaboration with ‘Toucharitee’. Founded by a fellow Pensacolian, Toucharitee aims to assist small non-profits in achieving their goals. We discussed how Toucharitee might help us the most, and how we could get the most bang for our buck.

Roofless School

With the roof construction scheduled for this summer, we discussed what might be the best thing for Mafacitela’s teachers and students, and then it struck us: school supplies! Reaching our goal of $1,000 will go a long way in purchasing notebooks, pencils, chalk, and textbooks for the school.

Click on the link to purchase a t-shirt, available in men’s and women’s sizes, and 33% of each purchase will go to support MozCause. Thanks for reading, and contact myself or Rob with any questions.

www.toucharitee.com

Todd Amacker Director, MozCause

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