June 2016 Children's Feeding Program in Northern Mozambique Update
The Mozambican economy, which was showing great promise a couple of years ago, is now faltering badly. Corruption and incompetence at the highest levels are a major factor; and, while an emerging Mozambican middle class of senior government officials is prospering, statistics indicate the rural 80% of the country’s population is materially worse off today than five years ago!
The Mozambican currency has lost 50% of its value relative to the US dollar over the past two years. This means the cost to purchase imported food such as rice has doubled. The village poor are hungry; and their children are suffering markedly. A periodic visitor to our Mieze discipleship program for village children recently observed that the village children are skinnier and their clothing more ragged than was the case a couple of years ago.
The number of village children attending our Saturday discipleship program has more than doubled over the past year…obviously drawn by the plate of beans and rice each child receives afterward. And most of the food on each plate goes into a beat-up plastic bag and is taken home to the family.
At the beginning of June, a visiting team from PEI sponsored a chicken meal for these hungry kids following their program. Over 1700 children turned up! It was a wonderful event…and one especially notable feature was the way the (relatively) well-fed resident children from both our Mieze and Noviane Centres pitched in and helped serve their poor village counterparts.
[1700 poor village children packed into Mieze church building for discipleship program and meal to follow.]
[Visitors and older Noviane resident kids helping prepare plates of chicken and rice for 1700 village children at Mieze.]