Esperança Project

Esperança Project: beginnings

Beginnings

Esperança (“hope” in Portuguese, Mozambique’s official language) is a long-distance support project being carried out by Cesvitem in collaboration with the Belgian division of Médicins Sans Frontières (MSF) in some of the outskirts of Maputo, the capital of Mozambique. Since 2002 MSF has been treating those living in these areas who have Aids or who are HIV-positive, ensuring professional advice and specialist treatment through GATV (an expert advice and voluntary testing centre). It offers home assistance to those in an advanced state of illness, providing free medicines and treating HIV-positive pregnant women to prevent transmission of the virus to the foetus.

Because of the different organizations and associations involved, a wide network of activities was created around this project which provides nutritional, legal and social support to Aids victims and their families. Since January 2004 Cesvitem has been part of the Esperança project at the invitation of MSF. The beneficiaries of the project are child victims of Aids whose parents are HIV-positive, often in the terminal phase of the illness or already deceased. Some of these children are themselves HIV-positive. Those nominated for inclusion are selected by MSF-Lux who choose them from among the more serious and extreme cases. Since January 2006 the Esperança Centre has been in operation in the Maxaquene quarter: a multi-purpose structure which serves as a base for workers, for the children involved in the project and for their families.