Alex Moore is the president of Little Changes International and recently travelled to Mozambique to visit LCI’s Milk Project. The following blog post captures his thoughts from the trip.
I recently had the opportunity to fly to Mozambique to see the progress of our Milk Project and get a report from our team there in the city of Beira and the small village of Manga where we have the clinic. I was accompanied by Justin and Kirby Betancourt of Ambient Studios (Pearland, TX) who came to capture video of the clinic and photos of the surrounding areas. The video for the Milk Project is coming out soon, and it is incredible! They are so talented, and it was such a blessing to the team to have them there to show the wonderful work being done in Mozambique.
The Milk Project has a special place in my heart, because I saw the project in its infancy while living in Mozambique in 2011. Soon thereafter, LCI became a nonprofit organization and the Milk Project was its first official project. It had been almost three years since I had last visited, so I was excited to see familiar faces but somewhat worried to see how things had changed in that time.
The team showed up on Wednesday – a day before the weekly milk clinic on Thursday – to set up the film equipment for the following day. The clinic is held in the same building since the beginning, but I was immediately struck by the growth in the surrounding neighborhood. Manga, still a village on the outskirts of the larger Beira, has seen much population growth in a short amount of time. I met some of the families in the area and had some time to speak with Fatima, our R.N. who heads the local team there.
The next morning, we showed up promptly at 9am for the milk clinic, only to hear the loud voices of women singing. “They’ve been here for 30 minutes and they haven’t stopped singing!” our volunteer Catarina explained to us. It was the mothers and caretakers who have children being helped by the clinic. They wanted to make it clear to their American visitors how grateful they were for the clinic. It was a powerful moment. The rest of the day flew by. Even though we have almost 40 babies each week, the clinic takes just about two hours. Fatima spends personal time with each mother/caretaker to really assess how each baby is doing. She takes the measurements and makes notes and Catarina passes out the week’s supply of milk. The film team interviewed some of the women; some of them came from very difficult backgrounds, but what an encouragement to hear how Fatima and the rest of the LCI team invested in the life of the women and their babies!
For the rest of our time, we were out in the community, meeting families who have been helped by the clinic. It was amazing to see how much they respect Fatima and the work she does. To them, she is the face of Little Changes. Multiple ladies told us that they had nothing when they showed up on the first day to the milk clinic. This is where the Milk Project has advanced the most. Before, the Thursday morning clinic was the focal point of the project. Now, it is the weekly family visits that have become the focus. “This is how we can make the most impact,” Fatima informs me. “Caring for the babies is more than just the milk. I have to see the conditions and work with the women in a more holistic approach.”
Before I left, I asked Fatima if she thought we were doing God’s work out here. Her reply summed it up so well. “Yes, this is God’s work because we are doing what Jesus did. He was in the community with the people and we are saving lives. Maybe we aren’t doing it miraculously – raising the dead to life or causing the lame to walk again – but we are saving the lives of these babies. Definitely God’s work here.”