Thanks to the endeavours made by the government of Mozambique, the country is witnessing significant progress in gender equality. Although women make up more than 53 % of the Mozambican population many people in the society still refuses to acknowledge women as creators of wealth and as the guarantors of economic and social well being. In rural Mozambique, where we live and work, this problems becomes an even bigger problem. Culture plays a big role when it comes to determining what women may do. The local church in Mozambique actually holds the answer in their hands. We work through the local church to reach most of the women involved in the Simukai program.
|Women in their cultural role at home providing
in the needs of her family.
In government we currently have 28 % of the ministers who are women, 20 % are deputy ministers, and 27 % of the women are provincial governors. 39 % of the members of the Assembly of the Republic of Mozambique are women.
But working in the bush is a total different issue altogether as I have said. Treading carefully and not stepping on toes is a nearly impossible task if you want to uplift and transform women to play a more active role in the community affairs. As you know we are currently helping women through various programs which include:
- Literacy programs – using the Bible as tool to teach them to read and write. More than 2 600 women are following this program in various languages, eg. Shona, Portuguese, Sena, English and Chewa.
- Entrepreneurial programs – teaching women various crafts which they sell. Many women was enabled to earn enough money to care for their families and even buy cows to plough their fields.
- Other social economic endeavors – a trial project with water pumps to help women to set up food gardens close to rivers to help in sustainable food provision for their families.
- Health and family care manuals: After teaching women how to read and write we are involved in teaching health classes to women and how to take good care of your family. We stay as culturally sensitive as possible in these matters.
- Currently building a Women Training Centre where literacy and entrepreneurship will be the main focus point. The centre will be a hub where women will gather and be equipped for the Mozambican challenges ahead.
Alta testing one of the water pump models available which women could use to procure water for her garden and even for family use.
The idea is to start a trial project to provide women with some of these pumps to ease the load they are carrying each day. All women in the community has the tiring job of carrying water to their homesteads – sometimes many miles away.
LEFT: Carrying water in the community is a tough job for the woman.
One of our co-ordinators for the Simukai Women program, Eunice, had to leave us after 10 wonderful years. Family commitments and responsibilities had to come first in Eunice’s decision to continue her new season. Although we did not want her to leave we place a huge emphasis on healthy family life and agreed, with many tears, to let her fulfill her next dream. She will be missed. Eunice will still be available in the future to help the women’s ministry, but on a much smaller scale.
She has a wonderful heart for women in Mozambique and were actively involved in training teachers in the rural communities. She also played a very active part in the arts and crafts entrepreneurial projects in the various districts in Mozambique.
We wish Eunice all the best!