The region of Cabo Delgado is in need of help. The security situation and the worldwide COVID-19 restrictions prevented international organisations, such as the United Nations, from assisting in humanitarian operations. So private companies set up their own initiatives. For local assistance, they can rely on VAMOZ, a group of volunteers that want to make sure the goods actually reach the people in need.
A way of life
“Our group first got together in 2019, after the devastating passage of a cyclone”, says Joana Martins from VAMOZ. “We use our links and connections to set up immediate help for communities. In Palma, we mainly help vulnerable people: women, children and elderly people who are still stuck in conflict areas. We help them with evacuation, food assistance, negotiations with military, distribution of seeds, mobilising other volunteers, fixing water sources and creating the conditions for the government to come in. We also strongly focus on the location of missing people. With the help of local communities, we have been able to locate 5,075 of 5,909 registered missing people.”
“Still, VAMOZ is not about us”, stresses Joana. “It’s a way of thinking, a way of life, uniting people. Each individual and each business can contribute in a positive way. We are just people in Mozambique, trying to help. By networking with national and international companies, we are trying to re-establish normality in areas that are now unsafe.”
We delivered the food and supplies to VAMOZ, who arranged the logistics and made sure it got to the people who needed it the most. We hope that our initiative brings them some relief.
Business Development Manager at Jan De Nul
Food and supplies
One of the companies that commit themselves to help, is Jan De Nul. “A logical initiative from our part”, says Business Development Manager Koen Hutsebaut. “We have been active in Mozambique for several years, executing dredging projects in Maputo, in the south of the country, as well as in Palma, in the northern part of the country. As a company, we don’t want to look away from the crisis that is going on in Palma. We care about people and the environment we work in. Our projects in Mozambique make us feel closely connected to the local communities in Mozambique. That’s why we want to help, wherever we can.”
Jan De Nul purchased food packs for 100 families which contained rice, flour, dried fish, beans, cooking oil, salt, sugar, soap bars and matches. The company also supplied 1,000 basins and 200 blankets. “We delivered the food and supplies to VAMOZ, who arranged the logistics and made sure it got to the people who needed it the most”, says Koen. “I was also present to talk to the volunteers and understand the situation that is going on there. The situation is getting more stable and some inhabitants are returning to their homes. But the attacks destroyed most of the basic infrastructure and people are struggling with their basic needs. We hope that our initiative brings them some relief.”