Born in the middle of cyclone IDAI, baby Teresa brings hope for a brighter future

An estimated 1.9 million people have been affected in Mozambique by cyclone Idai, of whom 1 million are children. Besides all the adversity, baby Teresinha represents hope for a brighter future.

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cilcone idai moçambiqueAmid the darkness, pain and suffering, a light shined bright, baby Teresa José was born. © UNICEF Moçambique/2019/Javier Rodriguez

Matarara, MANICA/Mozambique - When cyclone IDAI hit Mozambique on the night of March 14, hundreds of thousands of children have seen their lives turned upside down by floods. Amid the darkness, pain and suffering, a light shined bright, baby Teresa José was born, on March 15, in the Matarara primary school, in Sussundenga district, Manica province.

Teresa’s mother Amélia José, father José Mateus and 5-year-old older brother José, had to flee from their home in a hurry to escape from the raging waters that was consuming their house. Heavy rains swept through the community of Matarara, leaving a trail of destruction and hundreds of families without a home. The waters recededenough on March 19 to allow access to the first responders.

cilcone idai moçambiqueThe nearby Matarara primary school is now used as a shelter and accommodation centre and more than 400 families. © UNICEF Moçambique/2019/Javier Rodriguez

The José family found refuge in a nearby school. The Matarara primary school is now used as a shelter and accommodation centre and more than 400 families who decided to take shelter there after the Buzi river flooded their homes.

With support from UNICEF, a health and nutrition mobile outreach team, from the Ministry of Health, is providing safe drinking water and basic care needs to affected families in the school. They are also gathering information and prioritizing assistance to pregnant women, children under five, people with disabilities, HIV patients, and more.

cilcone idai moçambiqueA health and nutrition team are providing safe drinking water and basic care needs to affected families. © UNICEF Moçambique/2019/Javier Rodriguez

An estimated 1.9 million people have been affected in Mozambique by cyclone Idai, of whom 1 million are children. Thousands are feared dead or displaced.

“The situation is serious, and UNICEF and its partners are supporting the government to bring urgent life-saving support to the affected population, including clean water, sanitation and hygiene, as well as medical care,” says Marcoluigi Corsi, UNICEF Mozambique Representative.

Baby Teresa and her family have been in this improvised shelter since her birthday. They were fortunate! In the shelter the reports of missing persons and deceased are common, but at least for this family besides all the adversity, baby Teresinha represents hope for a brighter future.

cilcone idai moçambiqueBesides all the adversity, baby Teresinha represents hope for a brighter future. © UNICEF Moçambique/2019/Javier Rodriguez


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