The crisis in Cabo Delgado, Mozambique, has rapidly escalated as a result of conflict, insecurity, and violence, leaving an estimated 1.5 million people in need of humanitarian assistance. Most internally displaced persons (IDPs) fled to the south of Cabo Delgado, where they have been absorbed either in IDP transitional centers, specific IDP resettlement sites, or so-called ‘extended’ host communities. In Metuge and Chiúre districts, where IsraAID is active, a total of 97% of all IDPs stay in ‘extended’ host communities - mostly extended family and friends whose already limited resources are being strained by the rapidly growing influxes.
To support hundreds of children currently living in the Nicavaco Resettlement Camp, IsraAID is operating a Child Friendly Space, as well as training community facilitators to build the community's resilience from within. At IsraAID activities, we are able to provide a safe space that offers children stability. Despite being away from their homes, schools, and communities, children are still able to receive an education with the mental health and psychosocial support necessary during this unpredictable period of their lives.
Additionally, we are focusing on children and adults with disabilities who are often overlooked during crises and do not receive the particular services or support they need to thrive.
Filomena is a 25-year-old community activist from Metuge, Cabo Delgado. She recently participated in one of IsraAID Mozambique's training for community activists that specifically support people with disabilities.
“I’m very proud of my job because I get to talk to people and make them feel better and happier. In this training, I learned what it means to give psychosocial support, the importance of letting a person breathe, and giving someone the time and space to share what is afflicting them if they feel comfortable. And most importantly, I’m happy that I learned new things and can pass this knowledge on to help more people.”
As we commit to vulnerable communities in Mozambique, we thank you for your continued support.
“We in Mozambique commit to providing psychosocial support to the IDP community affected by the conflict in Cabo Delgado.” - Manuel, PSS (Psychosocial Support) Officer
After five days of training, our facilitators were ready to launch a new CFS in the Nicavaco Resettlement Camp. The training included aspects of child protection, psychosocial support for children, and communication skills for working work with children. After training, building the activities, and learning new songs and dances, everyone is eager to welcome the children to the new CFS on Monday
As we call it in Portuguese, 'Espaço Amigo da Criança' hosts around 300 children per day from ages 4-12 years old. We are excited to welcome the children every day, and they are always waiting for us to start with a huge smile and are really happy to have a space dedicated to them.
Thank you for supporting displaced communities in Mozambique.
Cabo Delgado, Mozambique’s poorest province, is home to over 800,000 internally displaced people who escaped the ISIS-inspired rebel group Al-Sunna wa Jama’a. Among them are over 384,000 children, many of whom have witnessed horrific violence.
Hundreds of local schools were destroyed in the fighting, and those that remained were closed for over a year due to COVID-19. Without the protective environment of school, Mozambican children affected by conflict, displacement, and isolation face psychosocial difficulties and are at risk of abuse and exploitation. Girls are especially exposed to child marriage and young pregnancy.
IsraAID has been responding to this crisis since 2019. By working in the education system, we provide a sustainable, long-term solution that reaches thousands of children each year.
We are delivering training for teachers and community activists in:
Most recently in May, we conducted a monthly self-care workshop in Metuge district. The workshop adopted a mixed methodology, both in the classroom and in the community. Working with the activists, our team conducted mental health training followed by door-to-door visits. The activists, along with IsraAID team members, visited beneficiaries at their homes to discuss psychosocial needs and case management. Having this hands-on training allows the activists to learn new skills, putting them into practice knowing they have back-up while they are still becoming comfortable with the methodology. These accompanied door-to-door visits are a regular activity that the IsraAID team provides three days a month, ensuring that the tools and knowledge provided to the activist are being appropriately used.
Cyclone Eloise hit Mozambique in January 2021 with heavy rains and winds of 140km/h. It caused over $10 million worth of damage, ravaging thousands of homes, schools, and health centers. 11 people lost their lives, and 8,000 were displaced.
Among the hardest hit were already vulnerable communities still recovering from 2019’s Cyclone Idai. Temporary homes made of plastic were destroyed, and the spread of COVID-19 in crowded schools serving as emergency shelters was a high risk. This was exacerbated by minimal access to safe water for handwashing and other basic hygiene practices since wells were contaminated by the rain, and by a lack of protective items such as masks. With global travel restrictions in place amid COVID-19, IsraAID’s long-term mission in Mozambique was uniquely placed to respond to Cyclone Eloise.
IsraAID’s rapid needs assessment identified that many people in shelters feared the spread of COVID-19 above all else and that few humanitarian actors were providing support at the Sofala Educational Center due to its relative distance. Thus, we distributed hygiene kits containing soap, a water purifier bottle, and multiple reusable face masks to 121 families. Recipients included children, men, women, elderly people, and people with disabilities. Most residents of Buzi were permanently displaced by Cyclone Idai two years ago; those who have had no choice but to leave during Cyclone Eloise. They moved to four Resettlement Neighborhoods, living in tents shared by 10 adults plus additional children, and awaiting materials to build new homes. To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the Resettlement Neighborhoods, IsraAID supplied 1,500 reusable face masks, which were distributed to 668 families.
IsraAID’s WASH team assessed 15 schools being used as temporary shelters, considering the existing facilities and population served and selected two sites where our intervention would be most effective. Cyclone-resilient structures were built to provide safe toilets, handwashing stations, and a borehole to supply clean water for these facilities. Construction took place with the Ministry of Education’s support and complied with national requirements for WASH facilities in schools. As Mozambique is the country's fifth most affected by extreme weather in the 21st century1, and schools regularly shelter vulnerable populations during emergencies, this intervention will have a lasting impact on disaster preparedness for communities in Beira and Buzi.
In addition to including personal protection equipment in the hygiene packs distributed, IsraAID’s team integrated COVID-19 safety, awareness, and prevention messaging across all its emergency response. Gatherings took place outdoors to enable social distancing; children and adults participating in psychosocial support workshops were able to deal with the combined effect of Storm Eta and Hurricane Iota occurring while they continue to grapple with COVID-19; and Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) solutions focused on securing a rapid return to proper hygiene practices. In addition, IsraAID’s team developed four 30-minute radio programs on COVID-19 prevention and stress management, which were translated into the two main local dialects – Sena and Ndau – and broadcast to around 1.8 million listeners in Sofala.
Your generous support has enabled IsraAID to provide urgent relief for families displaced by Cyclone Eloise, sharing much-needed supplies and key messaging amid COVID-19. Additionally, the establishment of
water, sanitation, and hygiene infrastructure at two schools will enable 5,550 students to access safe water and WASH systems year-round, while thousands of families will now be able to maintain basic hygiene practices and prevent water-borne diseases in future emergencies. IsraAID’s team is continuing to implement vital Community rituals to request permission from the ancients to withdraw water, prior to borehole drilling programming in Mozambique, working to build community resilience and support that affected long-term by climate- and conflict-driven disasters and displacement, so that Mozambicans are better prepared for any future emergency that might occur.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR ONGOING SUPPORT!
In March 2019, the province of Sofala in Mozambique was hit by Cyclone Idai. With some 1.85 million people directly affected by Cyclone Idai’s destructive path, international organizations called this “massive disaster,” the worst weather-related crisis to have ever hit the southern hemisphere.
A partnership between the Ministry of Education in Sofala Province and IsraAID was established to address the mental health needs of populations recovering from disaster, and to strengthen emotional resilience and mental health literacy in the education system. Based on the pilot carried out for teachers in five affected districts including, Beira, Dondo, Nhamatanda, Buzi, and Muanza, IsraAID Protection specialists recognized the ongoing necessity to strengthen mental health capacity within the education system, in order to address psychosocial needs after the cyclone. In order for the school system to strengthen resilience and ‘build better’, this joint venture aimed to support teachers and provide them with tools to strengthen emotional resilience within the classroom setting. In the summer of 2020, as part of the training-of-trainers implementation model, IsraAID also conducted virtual Psychosocial Support training sessions for 125 trainers of four local pedagogical institutes.
Many were the achievements of this whole mental health project, some of which are highlighted below:
In total, IsraAID trained 234 primary schools among five districts in Sofala, namely Beira, Dondo, Nhamatanda, Buzi and Muanza.
Counting all the people trained (teachers, focal points, and government technicians) in the training-of-trainers and replica methods, IsraAID trained 2,401 people.
During the PSS trainings, teachers learned how to encourage and observe resilience among students. Understanding the difficulties teachers face to acquire materials in Mozambique, IsraAID prepared a Resilience School Kit composed of notebooks, coloring pencils, balls, hula-hoops, and an activities activity guide for the teachers and distributed to all the 234 schools where teachers were trained in our PSS program. Therefore, as soon as the classes are back, teachers will be able to use these materials and use their knowledge in PSS to support the students and their emotional issues.
As we wrap up much of our work in Sofala, we are opening a PSS program in Pemba, a new district in the north of Mozambique. Thank you for your support as we continue to reach thousands of school children and teachers.
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