On March 15, 2019, Cyclone Idai made landfall near Beira, Sofala Province, Mozambique. With sustained winds of up to 185 km/hour and torrential rains, Idai caused widespread destruction across parts of Mozambique, Malawi, and Zimbabwe. More than 400,000 individuals were displaced, over 200,000 homes were severely damaged or washed away, and a reported 4,222 classrooms were destroyed, impacting 336,125 students. Idai has been classified as one of the Southern Hemisphere’s most devastating storms on record.
We committed to rebuilding two schools, each with disaster-resilient classrooms, an office space and improved WaSH facilities, in Sofala, the most affected province in Mozambique.
Five months into the program, in mid-March, we suspended operations due to the global threat of COVID-19. When it was safe, working within COVID-19 regulations, we hired local contractors to finalize the construction—ensuring students moved out of temporary, open air learning spaces, into safe, weather-proof classrooms.
In addition to our construction activities, our team developed a number of local community projects. These included Disaster Risk Reduction training for the community, English lessons for community members near our volunteer base and weekly football and volleyball matches with kids in the Lamego community.