Visiting the elderly along with the Dream Community in Beira (Mozambique)
March 9, 2011
The Dream Community of Beira after Easter last year started visiting guests at a center run by the Ministry of Social Action of Nhangau, about 25 km from Beira.
It is the only facility of this type of provinces of Sofala and Zambezia: 25 houses in the past military housing, lacking electricity and water, which now accommodate many poor families and elderly left alone.
It is Saturday: we move from Beira at 6 am with baskets of food and fresh fruit juices kept in the cool box. The journey is quite long and difficult especially for the last 16 km of gravel road, traveled by bicycle and by trucks crowded with people.
Guests are 73: 12 children, lepers 3, 4 disabled and 54 elderly. All have stories of poverty and neglect. Almost no one knows his age, older women do not speak Portuguese, but only the local dialects. The men, however traveled to work, even in the tobacco plantations in Zimbabwe, they speak Portuguese and a bit of English. Through their lives one can go throughout the history of Mozambique, the colonial period, the civil war and finally peace.
Pasqua tells of her seven children that the disease and the war took away. A young man tells us to be born in the center and never have gone out. Isabel shows her hands and feet marked by leprosy, and recalls that her illness dates back to colonial times. She is happy to see Leonor and does not stop to thank her for the fabric that she has given her and that she wears proudly. Also Chica is grateful for the precious jar of face cream, which was given with care and she had wanted for so long.
Most of the children are there with their grandparents, the smallest is about 2 years, everyone has a great desire to play.
The resources available are limited, food is scarce, some days, unfortunately, is not 'enough for all.
It is alive the memory of the Christmas lunch, a day of great celebration and good and plentiful food.
The visit ends with a greeting to Maguinezia who, by taking the hands of her young Dream friend says, "When I'm alone I think of you and I feel stronger ...".
The trip back seems shorter and less rugged, filled with the faces, the smiles, the plans for the future...