Children's Day in Mozambique is one of the country's most important celebrations, when schools and households all over the country take time to show their appreciation for their kids. This Children's Day, 12 local GE volunteers spent the day at the Matola Children's Home, in Maputo, which houses disabled children and adults ranging from the age of 6 to 36.
On this day the team went to give and share love and affection to the children who have been abandoned and forgotten by family members on account of their disabilities. Activities included dancing, face painting and playing.
In Mozambique, many disabled children are abandoned, as their families feel ashamed and do not have the financial means to take care of them. Compounding the problem, these children are often unable to attend public schools which are unprepared to receive them. Frequently, homes that care for disabled children depend solely on donations.
"Often in life we complain about small things. Going to places like the children's home makes us realise how insignificant our complaints are. There we met Jose who in spite of his disability always has a smile on his face, is proactive and always ready to help others. José is a doer and a role model. Fact is we went to help, but instead they helped us realise and understand how much we need to value our lives," said Vinicius L. Dall'Armellina, Mozambique Country Manager for Transportation.
"This experience taught me to value what I have. A lot of the time we look at what is missing and don't look at what we do have. It was great to share and provide people in need with a special day and contribute to their well-being. I hope as a group we continue to have such initiatives that bring us closer to people in need and make a difference to their lives," said Osvaldo Nhampossa, Mozambique Finance Leader.
The team donated blankets, food, clothes and toys to the home. Two engineers, Helder Sltoe and Arnaldo Munguambe, have donated their time to reconstruct an existing wheelchair bed which is too small for occupants, and to build two new wheelchair beds.