HISTORY

1990 Picture

In 1990

Mozambique is devastated by a total of almost 30 years of war for independence and civil conflict. The hardest hit are the children who must also bear the legacy of landmines, famine and poverty.

Mozambique is one of the poorest countries in Africa.

Barbara Hofmann develops a project for a Children's Centre in the city of Beira. She negotiates the necessary permits and petitions the government for land to build a place to help orphaned and abandoned children of war.

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1991 Picture

In 1991

Barbara enlists the help of friends, locals and the street children themselves in building tents and rudimentary structures to shelter orphaned and vulnerable children.

In the next 3 years, she spends her time scouring neighborhoods for scraps of food she can mix into a soup to be able to feed children every day.

Barbara founds ASEM Swiss, the first satellite ASEM charity. She organizes the structure in Beira and finds the support to get recognized at an international level.

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1993 Picture

In 1993

Barbara opens the first center in Macurungo, Beira. It was composed of 4 tents: two for sleeping, one served as a school and another a warehouse.

In the beginning, it was home to 40 children. The number rapidly increased to over 150. Though it became a bit crowded, it was a great alternative to life on the streets.

There was no more fear and no more abuse. The kids received 3 meals a day. Their psychological rehabilitation had begun.

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1993 Picture

In 1996

Barbara opens the Manga School, and the Manga Center in 1998, giving a home to boys up to 12 years old and girls of all ages.

The activities were the same as the ones in the Macurungo Center and school. It was originally made to house only 64 kids. The number increased up to 170. Still, it was better to share a bed than sleep on the streets.

1999 Picture

In 1999

Barbara founds and organizes ASEM Mozambique and co-creates the foundation of ASEM Italy Onlus.

ASEM Portugal and ASEM New York were inaugurated 4 years earlier.

By this time, Barbara has been continuously helping children reintegrate into extended families, locating surviving relatives for orphaned and vulnerable children, and building a support structure around them. Her endeavors won't be recognized as part of important global social goals for another 5 years.

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2001 Picture

In 2001

Barbara contracts the worst kind of cerebral malaria. She spends one month in a coma in a hospital in Johannesburg. She lives on dialysis, respirators and antibiotic transfusions. She survives, but malaria has left her lungs, liver and kidneys severely damaged.

We are happy to share, 5 years later, her complete recuperation. During her period of convalescence, the Mozambican staff does a fantastic job of taking over the management of all activities in Beira (including the Gorongoza Center which is later built in 2004).

We are happy to share, 5 years later, her complete recuperation.

During her period of convalescence, the Mozambican staff does a fantastic job of taking over the management of all activities in Beira (including the Gorongoza Center which opens in 2004).

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2005 Picture

In 2005

Over 300 children are living at the two centers called Manga and Macurungo in Beira, and over 1600 study at ASEM's two schools free of charge. These facilities have given even the poorest children in the neighborhood access to quality education.

The new Gorongoza Centre staff offers training opportunities and education to the most vulnerable children and young adults, as well as coordinates all community-based activities.

2008 Picture

In 2008

Barbara opens the ASEM Center at Vilanculos. This includes a preschool and a program chock full of diverse cultural activities for children and older youth. A significant development is the addition of an art studio/gallery and a 20-hectare plot of land for sustainable agricultural activities.

2009 Picture

In 2009

At the Macurungo center, all the children have been reintegrated into their direct or extended families. 80% of the young adults have been enrolled at vocational training colleges or given assistance in finding a job and housing.

The younger children (20%) have been reintegrated into their direct or extended families, with scholastic support and the assurance of finding a sponsor for future vocational training.

At Manga, 20 children remained at the Centre, most of whom are orphaned or children coming from extreme situations, for which ASEM is working in collaboration with other private and governmental organizations in order to find lodging within the community. The others, thanks to the continuation of ASEM's support, have been reintegrated into their direct or extended families.

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2012 Picture

2012

Still moving forward.

Our funds are often insufficient but there's a saying in Mozambique: "Hope is the last thing you lose".

Only with your help can we continue to provide vulnerable children and young people with food, water, education, child care and contribute to a sustainable development of Mozambique.

Please Donate.