[Episcopal News Service] In a remote region of Mozambique’s Gaza Province, a brickmaking project is transforming the community.
It’s one example of how the partnership between Episcopal Relief & Development and the Anglican Diocese of Lebombo, using Asset-Based Community Development methodology, is empowering remote communities in Mozambique. Community members are able to build their own homes and generate extra income by selling bricks, but it doesn’t stop there. Tammi Mott, senior program officer for Episcopal Relief & Development, says, “The opportunity’s always there for the work to spill over, for the benefits to spill over,” into the wider community.
Mozambique endured a 16-year civil war until a peace deal was struck between the government and rebels in 1992. The Southern African country has since made much progress in economic development and political stability, but intense seasonal flooding, periodic droughts and the burden of malaria and other communicable diseases continue to bring suffering to much of the population.
Responding to these crises and encouraging sustainability is the primary focus of Anglican Social Action (ASA), the social development arm of the Anglican Diocese of Lebombo.
Through the partnership with Episcopal Relief & Development, ASA was able to help in opening some of the irrigation valleys formed during colonial times. It was a key step in grasping the opportunities for agricultural development. That work has enabled some communities to be able to grow rice, maize and other crops.
Bishop Dinis Sengulane, who retired in March after 36 years leading the Diocese of Lebombo, has been at the center of the church’s role in community development.
This video is also featured here as part of Episcopal Relief & Development’s 75 stories over 75 weeks project to celebrate the agency’s 75th anniversary. The 75-week celebration will continue through the end of 2015.
– Matthew Davies is an editor/reporter for the Episcopal News Service.