Economic Development Initiative

Mozambican Women Face Challenges with Perseverance and Hope

Mozambican Women Face Challenges with Perseverance and Hope
Despite challenges, Flavia Jorge Domingos, left, and Flavia Custodio Salvador, right, learned sewing skills.

In Mozambique, women marry too young or lose all social standing if they are not married. Widowed, divorced, or single, a woman without a spouse has little access to money or economic opportunities. United Methodist Women seeks to end child marriages and end gender, age and marital status discrimination.

As in so many other countries, during the COVID-19 crisis, Mozambican United Methodist Women stepped up to share resources and sustenance, supporting women of all ages in their lives and pursuits of livelihoods. The women share the great joys and stories of women learning to become self-sufficient through trainings in sewing and life skills.

Sewing Skills

Five young women have graduated from a sewing course and are therefore able to support themselves through their own work, preventing them from accepting the necessity of marrying too young.

The biggest challenge to the training was that the course began with 26 girls enrolled. Only six graduated because others needed to drop out due to the reduced number of sewing machines and their need to wait. This discouraged the continuity of learning.

A Center for Widows

Another joy during recent months was the food security support of many displaced widows. Here is a testimonial from one such woman:

"My name is Rosalina Namburete Maregula. I am 59 years old and from Inhambane province, Maxixe District in Mabile. I am single with three children and lived in my parents' house, from which I was expelled when they claimed that I was a witch.

I was introduced to the government Massinga Center and was there for three years. But due to my bad behavior, they transferred me to the shelter of displaced widows at Anhane, claiming that a church center may be able to change my attitude with prayers. I am already happy to be in Anhane with others and to promise to change my attitudes. Here I am grateful for the church which does everything possible to assist me in everything. I want to thank the church and all of those women who have supported me for daily food and housing, sheltering me from the rain and the sun."

The elderly women at Anhane Center in Guma in the Massinga District, Inhambane Province, receive basic supplies from United Methodist Women.

Another joy from the Anhane Center is that the local United Methodist Women have ensured that all women at the center have been vaccinated from COVID-19, despite the fact that less than two percent of the population has been vaccinated due to the lack of vaccine availability.

Whether the women of Mozambique struggle to overcome early marriages, discrimination due to their marital status, resource shortages of sewing machines or vaccines, they persevere, grateful for prayer and support from United Methodist Women.

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

To learn more about how the sewing project began after the Training for Transformation, read Learning to Sew in Mozambique.

Posted or updated: 6/18/2021 12:00:00 AM

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*Training for Transformation

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.