Construction Equipment GLOBAL
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Mask kits distribution in Mozambique.

An engaged volunteer

Finding time to make a difference

The Building Tomorrow Project

The covid-19 pandemic sees no national borders. Luiz Vieira works at Volvo CE in Brazil and quickly decided that he wanted to lend a helping hand to those who needed it – in both Mozambique and Brazil. But his involvement in social issues stretches further back than this extraordinary first half of 2020.

Luiz Vieira works as a Competence Development Manager and has, like so many others, worked partly from home during spring. Early on, he felt an urge to help out during the pandemic. Since a year back, he is already involved in a so-called NGO (the name of any non-governmental organization) that organizes projects in villages in Mozambique. Now, the burden of the corona virus added to the weights the people in the villages had to carry.

“Due to covid-19 we are also donating masks and hygiene kits to the orphanages and for all the families in the Mandruzzi resettlement in Mozambique,” says Luiz Vieira.

The same NGO has engaged volunteers, such as Luiz, to help out in the local communities in Brazil. According to WHO (World Health Organization), the number of total deaths in the country due to covid-19 is approaching 59,000 to this date. It makes it the second country in the world, after U.S., to reach more than 50,000 deaths. The virus has hit particularly hard in the communities with low incomes, especially in the favelas in Brazil.

“During the pandemic the NGO started new projects to support poor families in our local community with food and some hygiene kits, including masks. We are told to stay home in these times, but how can they stay home it they don’t have a comfortable house, if they don’t have food or clean water in order to take care of themselves? It is a temporary support, but we are creating some routines here and maybe we can set some permanent support as well,” says Luiz.

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A woman in Brazil, kitted with mask, food and hygiene supplies from the NGO.

More projects in Mozambique

The organization that he is a part of started out small, by a friend. Luiz decided to join a little more than a year ago.

Apart from donating necessities and personal protective equipment in the midst of the pandemic, the NGO has had many other projects going on in Mozambique during the recent years.

“Last year we started an agricultural program with 24 families that received a piece of land, packs of seeds and training to start their own production of rice and manioc, all costs paid by the NGO. The idea is to create a culture that they can survive by their own. There is also a pilot project in this area where we built a house made of earth bags, the so-called Murmuchê concept. If the pilot is approved, the idea is to expand it to other families, because it is cheap and can be done using the resources in their community,” tells Luiz.

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Men in Mozambique working on a Murmuchê concept house.

The will to help

For him, being engaged in social issues and giving back to communities, whether it is in Brazil during the pandemic or in Mozambique on a more temporary basis, is something natural.

“Everybody has personal problems, time is critical to everyone, if I have time to spend watching a Netflix series, why not to find some time slot to support others? I usually say that if you want to help, you will find time.”

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Luiz Vieira.

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