By Amy Asmussen
With the recent conclusion of our Water Relief Fundraiser, we at One Heart Africa are taking time to reflect on the progress we’ve made and the work still left to be done as we head into the holiday months. Our Water Relief Fundraiser was a success; thanks to the enormous generosity of Jane and Kate Boutique and the contributions of all our donors, we were able to purchase a well for the garden plot near Sharing Hope Preschool. This well, a crucial source of clean water for our beloved community in Licilo, Mozambique, will help us combat the massive food shortages that have resulted from travel bans and shutdowns that have taken effect due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We estimate the full installation of the well to be complete by December of this year!
Not only did we fund a brand-new well, we used leftover donations to finance additional agricultural and clean water projects. We serviced and purchased new tires for the truck we use to transport goods and services throughout the community and to markets, where they are sold to fund staff salaries and a wide range of projects. We invested in a new drip irrigation system, pictured below, which will improve irrigation for the farm by leaps and bounds. The drip irrigation system is much less wasteful than overhead sprinkler systems, and can accomplish more in forty-five minutes than the sprinkler system can in four hours. A portion of the donations were used to purchase new seedlings to be planted on the farm. Additionally, we hired a tractor, purchased fuel and funded our staff salaries. Your donations have helped us fund several, vital projects that will improve the quality of life for our communities.
To express our endless gratitude for our farm manager, Linda, we have donated an extra portion of our funds to help with his daughter’s upcoming wedding ceremony! Linda has dedicated so much time and energy to operations on the farm, and we couldn’t be happier to help out.
As we celebrate our donors’ unwavering compassion and willingness to lend a help across borders, despite the current hardships we’re facing in our own lives, we are also on nearly ten years of positive change. Our story began in 2010. The small village of Licilo only had two primary schools, an extremely high unemployment rate, and a shortage of clean water sources. Licilo needed a preschool. Workers travelled to South Africa to work in mineral mines, where they often contracted diseases like HIV and Tuberculosis. Illnesses spread quickly within the community, and the additional water scarcity prevented Licilo’s residents from practicing preventative sanitation measures. Our volunteers sought to fill these needs with sustainable solutions.
A decade later, Sharing Hope Preschool provides education to over a hundred students. We have installed boreholes to combat the effects of Africa’s water crisis. In 2013, we began to develop a twenty-two acre plot of land in Eswatini into Lubombo Valley Farms, where we continue to develop new methods for sustainable agriculture, such as aquaponics and permaculture. Lubombo Valley Farms provides jobs and income for working people within the community. While Sharing Hope Preschool is currently closed in order to protect our students and their families from the COVID-19 virus, thanks to the hard work of our volunteers and the generosity of our donors, our farms are still producing food for our communities. We are delivering food parcels to the families with the most need, and we are using a portion of the donations we’ve received to fund our farm and preschool staff salaries, but there is still ground to cover. We have been able to fund our teachers’ monthly pension, but every donation counts in order to make sure they are salaried despite the school closures.
At One Heart Africa, we are committed to making long-term change through sustainable solutions. Our operational team works closely with volunteers on the ground in Mozambique and Eswatini to achieve one goal: educating, equipping, and empowering our interest groups in Mozambique and Eswatini. Our media interns, myself included, are working to raise awareness of the issues our communities are still facing. Our staff in Mozambique and Eswatini work tirelessly every day to improve the quality of life for those who depend on us for food and water security, medical services, education, work opportunities, and countless other commodities and programs. The work we’re doing matters. The smallest donation can improve someone’s quality of life by leaps and bounds. Even the smallest drop in the bucket can make waves. Whether your donation helps us purchase mosquito nets to prevent the spread of Malaria and other blood-borne illnesses, or funds the service and upkeep of one of our wells, which provide clean water for more than eight hundred people, you are making a difference.
Currently, One Heart Africa is still focused primarily on COVID-19 relief efforts. As of Sunday, October 18th, Mozambique has had a total of 10,707 confirmed cases of COVID-19. In the past fourteen-day period, there have been 1,664 new recorded cases. Eswatini has had a total of 5,780 cases, and 233 new cases since October 2nd. However, some shutdowns and restrictions and Mozambique and Eswatini are expected to be lifted in November, and we are estimating the reopening of schools heading into January. There is a shortage of medical commodities and preventative equipment such as masks and sanitizers. We are pushing for increased farm production to relieve the effects of the food shortage. By increasing profits that come of the farm, we can begin paying our teachers’ salaries in full in addition to funding our students’ medical bills. With the addition of the well and the new drip irrigation system, as well as increased rainfall as we head into the next few months, the future looks promising.
As we finalize the plans for the installation of the new well and other projects, we are beginning to push hard for the completion of our healthcare clinic in Licilo. We are estimating an additional $6,000 will be sufficient to fund and finalize its construction. We need your help to fund our relief efforts. We need your help so that we can continue to educate, equip, empower, and effect lasting change.
If you would like to make a donation to fund the completion of our healthcare clinic or any other area of interest, or learn more about our mission, please visit https://oneheartafrica.org/give/.
As we move into the holidays, we are gearing up to introduce new fundraisers and gift programs. We are excited to share with you all that we have in store. Stay tuned for more updates, and be sure to follow us on our social media platforms!
To find more information about COVID-19 in Mozambique and Eswatini, visit: