Have you ever dreamed of traveling to Africa—living, learning and connecting with people from a different part of the globe? Are you ready to step out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself physically, emotionally and spiritually? Are you ready to travel with a group of individuals from around the world and work hand in hand to do your part in eradicating poverty housing? Are you ready to learn how capable you are of making a difference in this world? If you are looking for the experience of a lifetime and are adventurous and flexible, then consider this Global Village mission to Mozambique. We will be working in the Gaza province, in Xai Xai, focusing our efforts to serving orphans and vulnerable children (OVCs). To date, HFH Mozambique has built more than 1,930 homes for these children. HFH Mozambique has developed a holistic approach to helping these families and works closely with community based partners to provide a range of services designed to support the needs of this vulnerable group.
Mozambique is a country of great potential and many contrasts. Located in southern Africa, it has borders with six other countries and more than 2,500 km of Indian Ocean coastline. Its population is strikingly young, with 10 million children accounting for half of the total population of 20 million.
More than 1.6 million people are infected with HIV/Aids in Mozambique. 500 people become infected with HIV/AIDS every day, most frequently women and children. As a generation of parents die in Mozambique, they leave behind a social vacuum and more than 1.5 million orphans, 500,000 due to HIV/AIDS.
Since the end of the civil war in 1992, Mozambique’s economy has grown, however it remains among the world’s poorest 20 countries and ranks 175 out of 179 on the 2008 Human Development index. The income per capita is $370 and more than 58% of children live below the poverty line. 70% of people live in rural areas and subsist by farming small plots of land; others migrate to South Africa to find work leaving families behind as they search for a better future.
About Habitat for Humanity Mozambique
Habitat has been active in Mozambique since 2000, building more than 2,000 homes and housing more than 7,500 people (most of them children). In 2004 the decision was made to work only with orphans and vulnerable children. This is because thousands of children were left orphaned and living in unhealthy, unsafe housing in the wake of the AIDS epidemic.
Habitat works with the local community to build simple, decent homes and also provides a toilet, mosquito nets and certeza (a water-purifying liquid which makes water safe to drink). Each house is also protected by a legally enforceable will ensuring that property grabbing does not take place and that children have the legal right to remain in the home even if their caregiver dies.
Habitat houses are made of cement blocks and have concrete floors and metal roofs. Without any major maintenance, these homes will last for more than 20 years keeping children and their families safe and healthy.
Habitat works in Gaza province, which has a population of 1.5 million though many people migrate to work in the mines of South Africa. The HIV rate is high in this location and there are whole communities where the normal family composition is grandmother and grandchild, for this reason Habitat has chosen to concentrate resources in this area.
Type of Construction for Volunteers
Volunteers will build simple, cement block homes with members of the local community; the homes will be 1, 2 or 3 rooms depending on family size.
Day 1, Friday: Depart from the U.S.
Day 2, Saturday: Arrive in Maputo during the afternoon or evening; transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight stay.
Day 3, Sunday: Breakfast at the hotel; late arrivals are greeted at airport by HFH Mozambique staff and transferred to the hotel; lunch and travel to project site; welcome and orientation with local staff; dinner with national office staff; overnight at hotel.
Day 4–7, Monday–Thursday: Workdays; Breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work from 8 a.m.–4 p.m. with lunch on-site; free time after work to clean up; dinner; time for team activities.
Day 8, Friday: Breakfast served before traveling to worksite; work in the morning if necessary; farewell celebration; dinner and overnight stay.
Day 9, Saturday: Breakfast at hotel before traveling to Maputo; check-in to hotel in Maputo; free time in the afternoon; farewell dinner with HFH Mozambique staff; overnight stay.
Day 10, Sunday: Breakfast at hotel; depart for home or R&R in Kruger National Park, South Africa.
NOTE: The team leader is planning an optional R&R to Kruger Park in South Africa. Please contact her for more details.
Depending on the distance of the worksite from the arrival city, teams may travel directly to the worksite upon arrival. Teams will stay in modest hotels or guest houses throughout the entire trip. Rooms are shared and have electricity, showers and toilets. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided for all workdays; one meal is provided for arrival and departure days.
(For more details about what is included in this cost, visit Global Village program cost.)
Build a better world: Take the Global Village Challenge
Habitat for Humanity International is challenging Global Village volunteers to make an even greater impact on the global issue of poverty housing. We are asking all GV teams to help us raise an additional $1.1 million in the coming year to support Habitat’s building projects worldwide. Take up the challenge! Join us in sharing our story and building a better world!
Jacqulyn currently lives in Qatar with her husband and two young sons and is a librarian at Georgetown University, School of Foreign Service in Qatar. She is also a former Peace Corps volunteer who served in Namibia and has traveled extensively throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. She has led teams to Madagascar, Zambia and Kenya. She enjoys the outdoors, competing in triathlons, Vinyasa yoga, cooking and reading. Prospective team members are encouraged to contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.