We have been living in Mozambique -- one of the poorest countries in the world -- for the last three years. During that time, our housekeeper, Dona Fina (black dress in back row), has become part of our family. As we've grown to know her better, her personal story has touched us: she works full-time to support six children and her extended family, all who live together in a small hut. Her family has been affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic here, with an infection rate in some regions as high as 25%. Before coming to work for us, she had a small home business preparing food, but the stove in her kitchen was so dangerous that her lungs were permanently damaged from the fumes and she was told she would have to stop cooking or die. The stories go on.
It came to our attention that Dona Fina's family has a small plot of land, but can't afford to build the small house and garden that she dreams of. And because of land abuse issues, if the family doesn't start construction, they could lose the right to build on the plot. Where she lives now is dangerous and uninhabitable. Even the slightest rain floods her home. We buy school supplies and presents for her kids, but the neighbors quickly steal them. For $4,000, she can construct a new property in a safer area, where eventually she will be able to produce enough food to keep her family fed above a subsistence level. It is our sincere hope that you will join us and pitch in to change the life of Dona Fina and her family forever. Every contribution, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated.