111 Hand-Washing Stations Provided to Mozambique
By Lucas Endicott
While all of us have been impacted by COVID-19, people in Mozambique have especially felt the weight of the pandemic.
In Mozambique, those who earn a daily wage by working in the fields or selling products in the cities faced impossible decisions: What is more important, food on the table tonight or safety for my family? As schools closed across the country, many children were left with no online or in-home educational options because of limited technology and resources. As hand sanitizer stations became part of our new scenery in the U.S., far too many in Mozambique looked for places to safely wash their hands with soap and water.
The hand-washing station idea and design came from Rev. Arlindo Romão Zunguze, the Director of Chicuque Rural Hospital. As he watched people go in and out of the hospital, he realized they had no place to wash their hands. He met with a local craftsman, and together they designed the first hand-washing station. Rev. Romão asked if MI would partner to help provide three stations at the cost of $400 USD each — two for Chicuque and one for the medical clinic in Cambine. Within a week several faithful donors sent funds to support these three stations.
In conversation with the three UMC Conferences in Mozambique, this idea quickly transformed into nationwide goal: Place a hand-washing station in every UMC hospital, school, elderly center, orphanage and church in Mozambique.
Through your generous support, as of February 2021, the Missouri Conference contributed $44,648, providing 111 hand-washing stations! We are fortunate to support a project that is imagined by a local leader, developed in-country and supported by leadership. These elements contribute to sustainability and success in the community. Projects like this are where our U.S. donor dollars make the biggest impact.
While we in the U.S. await our turn to get the vaccine, our partners in Mozambique aren’t expecting their first shipment until June. The country’s climate and the vaccine’s need to be kept cold make distribution challenging. In early February, the country was again placed on a 30-day lockdown to prevent the spread of the new South African COVID-19 variant. While necessary, this lockdown has devastating effects on communities around the country.
How You Can Help?Give: As we celebrate this provision, we recognize that the need continues. Donations of any size – from both individuals and churches – help us provide more hand-washing stations to more locations in Mozambique. Visit www.mzinitiative.com to give or contact Lucas Endicott at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pray: Lift up Chicuque Rural Hospital, healthcare workers in Mozambique, COVID-19 relief and the Mozambican pastors impacted by COVID-19.
Partner: Washing your hands is more important than ever. While singing “Happy Birthday” twice is good, using that 20 seconds to pray for Mozambique is even better! To keep our siblings in Mozambique top of mind, we’re inviting churches to place pray cards next their church’s bathroom sinks. If your church would like to receive a prayer card, please contact Lucas Endicott at email@example.com.