Felismina walked three hours to Moamba Hospital to get 10-month-old Shirlei weighed, and some medicine for a persistent cough. She was tired and wanted the wait to be over so she could get back to her other three children ages 12, 9 and 5, all in school. She said there was no public transport for her to travel, so walking to the clinic was the only way.
“It’s not easy to be a mother,” she says, “I worry about everything, especially having enough food. It’s difficult to talk about all the things we need.” She dreams laughingly of “being rich!” More seriously, she just wants for her children to be safe and have as decent a life as possible.
She learned about the Moamba Hospital from health workers who traveled to her community sharing information. Felismina came here for check-ups when she was pregnant and after her children were born. “I had all my babies here, I had no problems.” She has a small farm where she grows corn and beans. She attends a local church where they also supplement community health information and help when her family is sick.
Birth and early childhood may look very different for the women of Moamba than they do for you and me, but the shared connections are there. As I showed pictures of my kids and we compared ages and smiled together over our babies, I saw strong women doing all they could to give their children a better life: just as mothers do everywhere.
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I am in Mozambique with the International Reporting Project (IRP). You can follow the #IRPfellows hashtag on Instagram and Twitter to see latest stories and observations from the whole team. Share this story with a mom you care about and learn more about Village Reach’s work in Mozambique, whose work I observed at Moamba Hospital.
For more photos of the people we met at Moamba Hospital head over to our Facebook photo album.
Image credits: Chrysula Winegar