On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organisation (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic. Mozambique declared a State of Emergency in April, extended for another month into May.
In a vulnerable country such as Mozambique, the coronavirus does not only present a health challenge but a significant socio-economic one.
If your heart has been touched visiting Mozambique or hearing about its plight, here are some initiatives started by local businesses and entrepreneurs to support the people of Mozambique.
Dana Tours food hampers
Every year, the Dana Tours team gets together to support the people of Catembe, a vulnerable community in Mozambique.
Instead of sending gifts to clients, the Dana Tours team compiles and distributes food hampers to the elderly and females in the community. Last year, the team distributed 75 hampers. Each hamper weighed over 20kg and comprised of essentials such as rice, mielie meal, tea, sugar, beans, peanuts and more – essentials desperately needed. The hampers are distributed just in time for Christmas.
Although the Dana Tours team is severely impacted by the coronavirus, the team still hopes to support the Catembe community and aims to distribute 100 hampers later this year.
How you can support:
Plan and book your next trip: If you’re interested in visiting Mozambique, get in touch with the Dana Tours team today. While you cannot travel now, the Dana Tours team is available remotely to assist you with any forward bookings. Rest assured, you can book and pay for a future trip now with peace of mind thanks to the company’s flexible booking policies.
Postpone, don’t cancel: If you have a trip already booked, do not cancel it. Rather postpone to a later date. That way, you directly support the local travel and tourism industry which desperately needs your support to see this crisis through.
Share your Mozambican experiences: You can also support Mozambique by sharing your positive experiences of the destination on social media with family and friends. That way, when the world opens up again, they too can experience the magic of Mozambique.
Post your favourite Mozambique travel photos online, and be sure to tag and recommend the local operators you used.
Leave reviews on all the operators’ social media channels and send through customers testimonials for their website and other marketing channels. E.g., Leave a review on the Dana Tours Facebook page here.
Become an online ambassador for the people that made your trip to Mozambique so memorable.
If you’re currently in Maputo: Dana Tours is offering safe transfer and transport services, for a reduced rate for people currently in Maputo that need to get to work or business meetings. Read about it here.
Support local community initiatives
Ruy Santos, the founder of MAKOBO, a local collaboration founded in 2009, aims to reduce the socio-economic extremes in Mozambique by running a range of initiatives to promote the social wellbeing of the vulnerable. Projects are aimed at both individuals and corporates.
According to Santos, the UN warned in October 2019 that “Mozambique was one of the southern African countries where 45 million citizens face severe food insecurity. If food security was already a huge concern for the country then, given this phenomenon of crisis caused by COVID-19, many Mozambicans already fear hunger. There is an urgent need to prevent the spread of COVID-19, and continue to guarantee food security to those who need it most.”
Read about MAKOBO’s Solidarity in times of pandemic information here.
The vast majority of Mozambican households have no access to reliable energy, clean drinking water, sanitation, information, and savings or regular income to purchase food.
During the pandemic, MAKOBO launched a new initiative, ”Don’t just buy a mask for yourself, donate a little bit of yourself.” This initiative manufactures protective reusable face masks. Sales will aid the project’s other longstanding efforts, including:
SOPA SOLIDÁRIA (Solidary Soup) – delivering about 400 soups daily to mainly the elderly and children.
LANCHEIRA SOLIDÁRIA (Solidary Lunchbox) – providing underprivileged children, aged 3 to 17, attending public primary school with a daily lunchbox.
ARTESANATO SOLIDÁRIO (100% Mozambican Products Online Shop) that empowers skilled women in the community to produce locally made items for sale, promoting cultural heritage and income for underprivileged communities.
Here’s how you can support MAKOBO, whether it’s volunteering your time if you are in Mozambique, making a financial donation or purchasing online items.
We will continue to update this list as we are alerted to new initiatives.