New Homes, Better Lives

Text and photos by Chen Yi-qing
Edited and translated by Wu Hsiao-ting

A group of people walked through fields carrying mattresses and buckets and arrived at new houses built of bricks and cement in Metuchira, Sofala Province, Mozambique. Upon reaching their new home, Avelina and one of her children patiently waited as Tzu Chi volunteers set up their new bed. Then they lay down to try out the bed, happy to no longer have to sleep on the floor.

Many crudely built, simple structures in rural Mozambique succumbed to the destructive force of Cyclone Idai in 2019. In response, Tzu Chi committed to rebuilding schools and constructing four housing villages for survivors in Sofala Province, one of the hardest-hit areas. Unfortunately, the reconstruction efforts were delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In late November 2023, the third batch of houses—nine in total—for the Metuchira Tzu Chi Great Love Village was finally handed over to beneficiary households. With gratitude in their hearts, the families moved into their new homes.

Avelina is from one of these families. She has six family members. The sturdy home Tzu Chi built for them gave her hope for the future. She knew it would provide far safer shelter than their old home, freeing them from worries about strong winds and relentless rain.

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