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Photo story

Working together to bring hope to families in Mozambique

©VSO/Mário Macilau

A selection of images from professional photographer, Mário Macilau, and VSO volunteers show how communities in Mozambique are beginning to rebuild their lives following the devastation of Cyclone Idai.

When Cyclone Idai struck Mozambique on March 15, 2019, four out of 10 provinces were already flooded due to heavy rainfall earlier in the month.

The storm tore into Mozambique with 110 mph winds, forcing families from their homes and leaving them with nothing.

It then moved into Zimbabwe and Malawi destroying homes, schools, hospitals and infrastructure in its wake.

With your support, VSO trained community volunteers have been working relentlessly to help prepare and deliver emergency supplies and support to families in the worst affected areas.

Hunger: a race against time to reach those most in need


A woman prepares food for her family ©VSO/Mário Macilau

Maria prepares food for her family and neighbours on a makeshift stove

When Cyclone Idai hit areas of Mozambique with wind speeds over 105mph, Maria witnessed her whole village being destroyed. She and many of her neighbours lost their homes and are now living under a bridge in the city centre of Beira, it was the only place they could find to escape the heavy rain.

The neighbours share what little food they managed to save before leaving what was left of the village. VSO volunteers have been distributing food and other emergency supplies to over 10,000 people.

VSO volunteers organising food supplies for distribution ©VSO/Elisabeth Kisakye

Thanks to VSO community volunteers for their hard work ensuring that the worst affected communities receive vital food aid

Women carry sacks of food aid on their heads ©VSO/Elisabeth Kisakye

"Our house and gardens were destroyed by Cyclone Idai" - Julia Fazenda, mother of 7 in Nahmidzi village.

A quick recovery is vital, not just for our children, but for future generations

It's estimated that over 3,000 schools have been destroyed across Mozambique, disrupting education for hundreds of thousands of children like Sandra.

A young girl and her brother are looking for a new home ©VSO/Mário Macilau

Sandra lost her home and her school in the cyclone. She is hopeful that soon she will be able to return to her studies.

Huge numbers of health centres have also been damaged and the UN reports that more than 7,400 women impacted by the storm are pregnant, with 60% expected to give birth in the next six months.

It is vital that access to healthcare and education is restored fast.

VSO trained community volunteers are helping to clear up health centres and schools that have been destroyed – making them safe so rebuilding can begin quickly.

VSO trained volunteers gathered for a clear up mission ©VSO/Elisabeth Kisakye

VSO-trained volunteers gather to clear up a health centre destroyed by the cyclone

Someone to turn to

Two young mothers are living temporarily in a school ©VSO/Mário Macilau

Paulina and Joaquina will support each other to rebuild their lives

Paulina and Joaquina have been friends for over 20 years. The single mothers have both lost their homes and are living temporarily in a school building.

They are grateful to have the support of a close friend to begin rebuilding their lives. Unlike many others, they won’t have to face an uncertain future alone.

VSO is providing counselling and emotional support to people who have been affected by Cyclone Idai, so that they have someone to turn to in their time of need.

Thank you for helping to make all this possible.