It takes a village
© UNICEF Mozambique/2012/Mark Lehn
In the new house, the sisters each have iron bunk beds and mosquito nets. At the entrance, they have carefully placed domestic utensils. Every day, someone from the community checks up on them.
Glória and her sisters speak little, but
the smiles say it all. It has not always been
that way. After losing both their parents
a few years ago, they were left all by
themselves, living in a precarious house,
destroyed twice in a storm. Then Glória got
a job, caring for a baby in another city. The
youngest sister also went away to work as
a nanny, leaving the middle sister alone, to
fend for herself.
But social services got wind of this case,
during a monitoring visit in the area. And
thanks to their intervention, the sisters
were eventually reunited. They were also
given food and material assistance. The
sisters are living together in a new house
with a sitting room and two bedrooms, and
neighbours are never far away, and look out
for them daily. Thanks to birth certificates,
they are even able to attend school. With
government-issued poverty certificates,
the sisters are allowed free access to
basic services, such as medical care and education. A local civil society association
provided food and an income-generating
project for Glória.
- We are very proud of the relationship
we have with the community, says Júlio
Samundine from the local association that
identified the case.
In the new house, the sisters each have
iron bunk beds and mosquito nets. At
the entrance, they have carefully placed
- We have also found them a plot of land
to grow vegetables, and we will supply
them with farming tools, explains Horácio
Zambo, a social worker from the district.
Their house will also be registered in
Moreover, the community leader gave
them permission to fetch water from
the community fountain free of charge.
Generally, anyone using the fountain
contributes with a symbolic, monthly
tax towards maintenance costs, but this
requirement is waived for underprivileged
community members, such as Glória and
her sisters. Every day, someone from the
community checks up on them to make
sure everything is alright. Their local
church is also involved, so the girls are
definitely not alone.
If anything, the story of Gloria and her
sisters is the example that proves the old
saying about how it takes a village to raise
a child. And perhaps protect, feed, and love
it, as well.