Mangunde, Moçambique – A ponte da amizade
Mangunde is not an easy place to reach. It is located in a remote area, in the middle of the Mozambican bush, in the province of Sofala. It is isolated, and there is no chance whatsoever to use public transportation to reach it.
Going through a rough road, which from the main road leads to the interior, we find an ancient tree, which "signals" the area of the village.
It is a vast rural area beset by drought: here it rains very rarely and the “machamba” (small plots of land cultivated by households to feed themselves) very often doesn’t produce anything. Many live in the “canissi” (huts made of reed and mud), which are located in clearings surrounded by low and bare vegetation.
Life in Mangunde is not easy for anyone, but it is even more difficult for the elderly, who often loose their relatives remaining isolated and without the possibility to get hold of food and clothes. Their hut is often blown away by the wind and they don’t have any means to protect themselves.
Moreover here the prejudice against them is strong, as it is believed that those who are advanced in years engage in witchcraft, and live that long in age by “stealing” the lives of the younger ones.
But lately there is a bridge that has shortened the distance between young and old. In fact, the community of DREAM in Mangunde has began to visit many of the village’s elders, seeking them in the most isolated corners where they live, helping to repair the hovels where they live, bringing food regularly.
These visits are always an occasion of friendship and celebration.
Last October 2nd there was great joy: a representation of the community of DREAM from Beira, along with some youngsters from Mangunde visited the village’s elders: there were songs, dances and a gift for each one, carefully prepared. Matias, an activist from Beira, brought the greetings from Moscow, where the Movement “Long Live the Elders” has made a collection for the distribution of rice, beans, salt, oil, soap…
The bridge of friendship is a long one and it goes from Mozambique to Russia!