Little Manuel Samuel is like any other village boy …. full of energy, full of smiles and even a few dreams of his own.  He attends our village bush school and as he and so many boys continually reminds me his favorite time of the day is lunch time when he eats beans and sadza (maize porridge).

He would never know that a few days ago would be his last in the village.  Between the Zuze village and our bush school lays the Mucombeze river.  It’s not a very big river but during the rainy season it becomes a violent and fast flowing river filled with many crocodiles.  Many of our 150 children needs to cross this bridge daily if they wish to attend school (which they all love to do!)  During rainy seasons many kids don’t dare to cross the river unless someone in the community helps them to cross by dug out canoe.  There is no pedestrian bridge for any of the children and for many years our kids have to cross this dangerous river.  

Little Manuel thought a few days ago that a quick swim after school would cool him down as the days are hot and humid.  He would never return.  He was  unaware of a crocodile that was hiding in the water.  It attacked suddenly and deadly.  Manuel’s full body was not recovered.  We were devastated.  

The situation highlighted this past week with the loss of Manual Samuel to a crocodile emphasized a critical problem for many of the children who attend our school and their families.  Many days of school each year are lost due to the river being too full to pass and many literally risk their lives to get to school.  We visited George who made a canoe out of bark and has been helping the children and community every day for free to get back and forth across the river, but he cannot always be there and when the river is in flood even that option is out.

We would love to build a bridge in Manuel’s honor so the children’s needs are met and so the loss of his life leaves a legacy for his family.  We would love help to explore design options for a walking bridge that could be build along with making sure there is a spot it can be built that will keep it hight enough to not be affected by the floods and still serve the community and children.

If you feel you could participate in this project by any means, technical advice, funding, help – in whichever way you feel possible ….. please help us to leave a legacy for Samuel in the form of a pedestrian bridge across the Mucombeze river.  Please contact us at: