Global Leaders

Change Begins With Me

Change Begins With Me
Marcia appreciates an illustration during a workshop break.

Marcia Chitata is almost always smiling and happy.

When asked how she felt about the regional training, she said, “My greatest take away and life lesson was that change begins with me. I had heard that before but this training really cemented that idea for me.”

Regarding her field visits experience, Marcia explained, “To go out into the field to assess needs, interact with complete strangers, return to the classroom, share and receive real-time constructive feedback was by far the most effective teaching tool used during the training.”  

Marcia also came face to face with cultural practices she was accustomed to that were problematic. When discussing children's' rights, it dawned on her that, as a culture, some families take in a child to help with chores, allowing these parents to go to work and their children to attend school. “What most of us, including myself, didn’t know,” she said solemnly, “is that education is a human right and that this custom can be considered child labor.” She added that due to this new information, she plans to advocate for children against this custom.  

Another benefit to the gathering? “The second training also strengthened our bond as a team both within and across provinces. After dinner, we shared experiences and swapped stories late into the night. Unlike before, I now call my teammates and sisters more often and sometimes, just to catch up. I also have a better understanding of my role as a young adult with relation to the executive secretary and president.” 

Soon after the training, the team was excited about implementing the activities they had planned which would commence on the 7th of April, Mozambican Women's day. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the governments’ declaration of a state of emergency in March, all these plans ground to a halt. The team does what they can telephonically and hopes and prays that all of the social isolation will be over soon. 

Marcia ended her interview by acknowledging with deep appreciation that if it weren’t for the support of United Methodist Women in the International Ministries office in New York, this much needed refresher training wouldn’t have taken place. The February 2020 training was a follow up to the first Training for Transformation gathering held in South Africa in October 2020. She shared that the virtue of patience she saw in the regional missionaries is a trait she intends to emulate in her community.

Marcia is a computer engineer, who currently works as an information technology officer and teacher at the Institute of Geology and Mines in Tete, Mozambique.

Anglina Mbulo is a journalist on the United Methodist Women Mozambique Country Team.

Posted or updated: 9/18/2020 12:00:00 AM

Give Thanks. Give Now.

Learn More:

*"Creating a Work Plan for Local Women in Mozambique"

*"Making Soap During a Health Crisis"

*"Training for Transformation"

Suggested Pages:

*International Work

*Global Leaders

*Videos and Stories of International Ministries

United Methodist Women Economic Development Initiative (EDI) creates economic opportunities even in the most vulnerable rural communities. The seed grants support women entrepreneurs to start and run viable small enterprises, agribusinesses and income-generating activities. The opportunities that these small grants create for women, their families and communities are powerful catalysts, especially during COVID-19 when the economic situation is becoming more and more insecure.