Every community has something that is unique – something the residents are proud of or distinguishes them from others. In Canada, it might be a giant Easter egg, a waterfall or a successful sports team.
For the people of Holla village in the Tsangano district of Mozambique, it’s their foot bridge. The community development committee listed a whole range of improvements in their community since Lutherans had become involved in their development. The list included significant things like wells, irrigation, education, health services, forestation and mosquito nets.
Yet the thing they were most proud of was their foot bridge over the local river. Mind you it’s no ordinary foot bridge. It’s strong and substantial and you could drive a semi over it if you had to do so. Engineering advice and donated cement combined with labour from the local men resulted in an important communication and transportation asset.
Now in the rainy season, children can get to school, farmers can tend their crops, people can access services in the village and the dead can be buried in the cemetery across the river. And even in dry times there is still a flow in the river so it is a benefit then too.
People from the village proudly led us to the bridge and when we got there the women sang and danced. They sang a song that thanked the men of the village for building this fine bridge, a bridge everyone could point to with pride.
Director, Community Relations