Northern Mozambique has been plagued with violence for years at the hands of insurgency by Islamic militants. However, most recently, thousands of families have been displaced from their homes due to a violent attack on the city of Palma in the Northern province of Cabo Delgado.
“It was around 3:00 in the morning that the insurgents entered the village, and when we tried to flee the insurgents took my husband and killed him.”
Families have been torn apart. Spouses have been lost, children have lost their parents and now need to care for their siblings, and livelihoods have been destroyed.
“To kill they didn’t choose anyone, because they killed women as well as men. Tough people, blind people, whether disabled or not, the insurgents would kill anyone.”
In order to find safety, people fled Palma and walked for days to reach cities like Montepuez.
“… we stayed in the woods for about 14 days without eating.”
With around 750,000 displaced people around Montepuez, the country is in dire need of any help they can get. These families need to rebuild their homes, they need to start from the ground up as they try to produce food sustainably – for themselves and for those who have no one to care for them, and they must process the trauma and incredible loss they have experienced. Not to mention the personal losses and needs, but the government is also struggling with water and health infrastructure issues as cities now have thousands more people to provide services to.
“But now my family will be those who are close to me.”
These wonderful people are resilient and are showing so much kindness to those around them. They are helping each other, taking people in who have no one else to turn to and are hopeful that they will regain a sense of normality. But… They have a long road ahead of them.
We are so thankful that Operation Blessing was able to be on the ground shortly after the violence in March 2021. Through our partnerships, we were able to provide food, hygiene essentials and some waterproofing for their newly built houses. This relief was much needed and was greatly appreciated by those who received it.
However, this is not the end. Mozambicans are still under duress as they adapt to their new lives and continue to battle the insurgents who are causing much strife and hardship in their nation. We may have provided relief – but it was only temporary.
In reflection of his time in Mozambique, and how he sees the future from here, this is what our Operation Blessing Manager, Clayten, has to say:
“What struck me the most outside of the sheer tragedy and terror the people went through to get to where they are, is the massive amount of resilience that they showed. They lost everything – loved ones included – and now they were forced to start over.
What hits me is the lack of resources they have to start over. The available water gives then stomach cramps, but they need to drink it to survive. While we have provided some relief in the form of food and other essentials, they need supplies that enable them to grow their own food. To give them hope for the future, and hope for the future generations of their families.
The tragedy is not over. It’s so tragic that they need to start their entire lives over. That’s what really gets to me, they don’t even have the basics to be able to get there. That’s where we need to do more. So that they can get there. We need to get them to be more self-sustaining so they can provide for their own day to day food and water requirements.”
We would love to continue to support those who are still on the ground in Mozambique. Through food security projects, providing essential items, helping them to rebuild, and providing social and emotional support to those who need it. We ask that you consider supporting Operation Blessing on a regular basis so that we are able to continue providing relief and working towards a sustainable community so that they have a hope for their future that involves long-term solutions – not just quick fixes.
We are truly grateful for all of the support we have received thus far, and we cannot wait to see how else God uses us in the nation of Mozambique.