Meet the “Mama’s”!

By Francois Rauch

I truly believe that Parenting 101 was created in the bush! Really! Raising more than 10 kids at once with absolutely NO technological help, extremely limited medical care, no books, no food security for the day, no creches and no councilor to assist you in parenting tips is not for the fainthearted. Did I mention that mothers here have their babies in the bush …. with no medical procedure or help most of the time. I take my hat of to these ladies. They are better than Superwoman. I mean Superwoman had the privileged of putting on some make-up and dress up for the occasion . Here in the bush it is survival.

Take for example Senhora Chimboma in the photo below. She is in the middle watching the camera. She raised 4 kids alone after her husband died. That means she has to make sure there is not just food on the table everyday but also be involved in the lives of her children … daily. She is not a young lady anymore. She complains of asthma and joint pains daily. The miracle is that her 4 kids in our school are top students. The youngest, currently in grade 4, has been our top student for the last 2 years. How does she do it? She is a serious lady and when I ask the question she responds with no smile: “It must be GOD only!” And that’s it. Quick answer but a very serious one. I salute women like senhora Chimboma. You get a 10 out of 10 Mrs Chimboma.

mae chimboma

Mrs Chimboma is the lady in the middle. Phenomenal lady!

It’s that time of the year again. The beginning and the end of a school year must be the most exiting for me. I know the real work happens in between but it’s during these times that I get to taste the fruit of all the labor that has been put into a school year. New faces and the anticipation on the kids’ faces is priceless. For the 2013 school year we yet again nearly registered 300 children and added another 56 to our external school program.

kids lined up

After a 2 months holiday it was amazingly easy getting everyone in line again!
And then to get them to sing the 5 verse Mozambican National Anthem …. well a bit more difficult.


Part of the education team that will work with me during 2013, from left to right: Tito Mabuleza (Grade 3 and Sports), Sinambale Paradzai (Grade 2 and Literacy), Joao Feniassi (Grade 5 and Arts/Culture); Rutendo Luis (Pre-School and Grade 1 & Literacy); Joao Benjamim (co-ordinator of our Tutoring/Remedial program) and Paulo Inacio (Grade 4 and Sport).