22 June 2019 | Salaam Foundation
They were 10 in crew s they set out at 1am on Friday, 14 June 2019. The group under the banner of the Salaam Foundation had a 1900km journey ahead of them into the heart of Mozambique where funding for relief aid projects had been sent.
For most, it was a first time experience, making it difficult to grasp exactly what was ahead of them on the dragging journey. Crossing over the Mozambiqcan border linking Komatipoort to Ressano Garcia, the group made their way in the capital city Maputo for meetings with the host organisation, Communidade Mucalmano.
Formalities out of the way the crew that comprised of Aadil Dasoo, Ahmed Kara, MH Waja, Faim and Firhaad Samaria, Yusuf Sujee and his wife Humairaa, his mother-in-law aunty Zohra and her son, Talha Karim, began the drive through the villages that dotted the long highway.
After reaching idyllic beach town of Vilanculo late on Friday night, the team tucked in to a warm meal and comfortable bed and hit the road early the next morning. This was where the potholes reached graveyard levels with only splatterings of tar visible for many kilometres of road.
Eventually the port city of Beira was reached and the next morning the crew, assisted by Ml Muhammad Omar of the Movimento Mucalmano – Beira, who planned the entire delivery of aid to the rural region of Buzi.
Travelling a further 150km, 80 of which were on rigorous gravel, the extent of the poverty, desperation and gratitude of the people of Buzi following the devastation of Cylone Idai became apparent.
Long queues of people had gathered to pick up the parcels of basic food items, home utensils as well as roof sheeting, wooden poles and building material.
Patiently the recipients collected their loads and stumbled off into the distance determined to use the little they had received to rebuild their lives once again.
A cross over via river boat took us to a second area called Muchanessa where building material for the isolated masjid as well as food, farming tools and home utensils were shared.
Despite Cylone Idai having passed Mozambique over two months ago, the people in Buzi and other rural areas of the country have still been suffering greatly. It will take a consistent effort of both government and NGO’s to pull the country and these people to a universal living standard.
But beyond the needs of the people, for the crew of 10 who made the memorable journey, it was an eye opener to the fact that more than the people need the assistance, we require the opportunity to be of assistance to fellow human beings. This effort fills a void deep within the emotions of people that can’t be found anywhere else.