A Bermuda charity working to help people in poverty-stricken Mozambique has appealed for funds to continue its work.
Transforming Lives, Fighting Poverty aims to build a multi-purpose building in a rural area of the African country housing a school and clinic.
And it wants to further promote an agricultural scheme that will see workers sharing in the profits, teaching local people how to farm their own land efficiently and selling them seeds at cost price.
Charity chairman Joan Simmons said: “When we bought the farm property it was jungle — so we hired 16 people to clear it, then ten people to plant it. We now have four people who plant it every three months with cash crops.
“The multi-purpose building is not there yet – but we do have a building with primary classes 1, 2 and 3, which will open in January.”
Ms Simmons added that the school was particularly important in a country where around 80 per cent of youngsters don’t have educational opportunities.
The charity was set up in 2010 by members of the AME church after Ms Simmons felt impelled to do missionary work in Mozambique.
Earlier, she and other AME members visited the country and linked up with the local AME church to find out ways they could best help.
Missionary nurse Cynthia Stovell added that the charity already worked to provide health care to children and adults using medicines provided by the AME church in Mozambique and equipment donated by Bermudians.
She added: “The medicine is available to them without cost. If we don’t have the medicine, some get assistance to get it elsewhere.”
And she said: “Our vision long-term is that the AME would resource things like a maternity clinic and other services.”
Ms Stovell said that among the most common complaints she saw in children were asthma, bronchial infections, malaria and diarrhoea-type problems.
She added: “In adults, hyper-tension is a problem and medicine for that is very expensive. We do treat whoever we can.”
In addition, the medical team also commonly treat sexually-transmitted diseases and diabetes.
Ms Stovell said: “When we go out there, we usually take supplies which are transportable – basic medical equipment like gloves, thermometers and other small pieces of medical equipment.”
She added: “There are very poor children in Mozambique living in slum areas – when we share the work we do there and the amount of children we see going hungry and without clothes, people open their hearts and pocket books.”
Anyone who wants to help the charity with its work can contact Ms Simmons on 297 2327 or donate at Bank of Butterfield account 060001500019.