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Mozambique Henriques Mativera

Field Monitor
A day in the life of CTG staff
When I was a child… I promised myself that I would like to work in the field to help people.

Inspiration from empathy

Henriques was inspired to work as a humanitarian by his experiences at school and growing up in the fields in his village. At school, he was one of only a handful of children with shoes. Many parents did not have enough money to supply all of the needs of their children, and it pained Henriques to see himself with shoes while his peers had none, as a result, he often chose to go to school barefoot.

A lack of access to basic services made survival difficult: “When I was a child… I promised myself that I would like to work in the field to help people.” These experiences nurtured his compassionate nature and his drive to help others. 

Providing a place to go

In response to the wreckage wrought by Cyclone Idai in 2019, Henriques worked with a coalition of humanitarian organisations to assess, support and rescue people in affected areas. The coalition collaborated with the Mozambican Government to open resettlement centres, provide search and rescue teams, drain water and create awareness of safe practices. 

Tangible change

The impact of Henriques’s work is visible in the communities with which he works. In a Manhama Resettlement Centre, he assisted in the case of an elderly community member who was the subject of rumours based on superstition. Through community engagement, he found a new community in which the individual could resettle and helped sensitise the community to the unique needs of the older people, enabling mutual acceptance and a comfortable outcome for all involved. 

Overcoming challenges

The circumstances of Henriques’ work – the daily hardship he witnesses, in which some families with whom he engages have been living in uninhabitable conditions for years – can feel challenging.

Henriques perseveres because of his similar lived experiences during his former years. While he acknowledges the unpredictable nature of Mozambique’s political climate, Henriques encourages himself and implores others to continue humanitarian efforts because the opportunity to help people is a ‘unique experience’ tied to the ‘true sense of life.’