Image by Flickr user Michael (mx5tx), licensed under Creative Commons.

Hunger is political

Food banks can’t do it all

I was visiting Mtimbe, a settlement of about 40 families on the shore of Lake Nyasa in Mozambique. The town is many miles from the nearest road, and residents have no electricity or running water. They live in thatched huts, and they rely on cassava fields: if the cassava fails, the family goes hungry. My companions and I had traveled by one-engine plane and then in a big wooden boat. As we approached the shore, we saw about 50 local people waiting for us. They were singing a praise song, clapping and moving with the music. Our hosts pulled our luggage from the boat, raised it onto their heads and continued to sing and dance as they made their way up the hill.

We were welcomed by Rebecca Van Meulen, coordinator of a regional Angli­can AIDS effort called Life Teams, and by Pedro Kumpila, leader of the local team. Someone asked the people how they'd improved their lives in Mtimbe, and a resident expressed gratitude for peace.

 

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