Reencontro

By Danielle Lee

Reencontro is where I have been spending most of my time here in Maputo. It is located around 20 minutes from the Central Hospital. Olinda Mugabe is the founder of Reencontro, and I have seen, first-hand, the incredible work she has done for people who have been affected by HIV/AIDS. Olinda founded Reencontro to support orphans of HIV/AIDS victims, who were left to fend for themselves after their parents died. Starting out by supporting 15 families on her own, she has grown Reencontro to support over 7,000 children in Southern Mozambican provinces of Maputo and Gaza.

Me with Olinda Mugabe
Fighting On at Reencontro!

At Reencontro, they provide a variety of services ranging from psychosocial support, home-based care, vocational training, community-based health, and more. My work for Reencontro has been focused on community-based health and youth health education. I have traveled to several communities in and around Maputo and worked with the community activists. Community activists are a group of women in each community who educate and teach mothers about proper breastfeeding, as well as provide support and counseling for single mothers. On some visits, I helped prepare a meal for breastfeeding mothers so their babies can get the proper nutrition to grow. What I love most about the community visits is being able to see how the people of Maputo live, while also experiencing the impact that Reencontro has made in these communities. It has opened my eyes to single-mothers, many who are my age, working and supporting their children. Community visits are where I have met some incredible women and it’s humbling to hear so many of their stories!

Other days, I work with a Reencontro employee, Arao, to create programs for the children who attend Reencontro before school starts. My lessons include teaching about proper health behaviors and teaching English to the children. Through these lessons, we have done a number of activities that included playing Ultimate Frisbee to singing and dancing about brushing your teeth. I love working with children so being around these kids are both fun and refreshing!
 These next few weeks, I will continue to do community visits as well as my lessons for the children. If you want to learn more about Reecontro, their website is: http://reencontromozambique.wordpress.com
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