An emotional interview with our former Technical Advisor Rosa Nordeste from Beira, MOZ

Rosa Nordeste worked as Technical Advisor with our partner ESMBAMA in Beira, Mozambique, for more than 3 years (2014-2017). After the cyclone have hit Beira she decided to go back to help.

Rosa, you are helping your former partner ESMABAMA after the cyclone Idai have hit Beira. Was your decision a fast one?

Rosa: Since my return from Mozambique to Portugal (July 2017) I have been working in photography and graphic design with my own project. I was following the updates about cyclone Idai from Portugal, before and after Idai hit Mozambique. As the news about distruction started arriving, mainly through other friends that lived in the past in Mozambique, I was worried with my friends there, worried with Beira, the city that was my home for more than 5 years, with ESMABAMA, the Missions and with all the vulnerable populations that already have such a hard life. At the time was impossible to get information about any friends. All means of communication were down. Also at the time there was nothing on the news, not even in Portugal, which was worrying me even more: when would help get to Mozambique?

I tried to share as much news as possible of Mozambique because the world was not looking at it. As more information was coming out of Mozambique we could understand the strenght of the cyclone, all the destruction it caused. I was feeling impotent and I wanted to help somehow, but did not knew how, it made me question my main focus at the time and I could not really concentrate properly on work or get proper sleep.

On the wednesday after the disaster I received a call from ESMABAMA’s Director, Fabrizio, at the time he just got back to Maputo from Beira and had gone through the terrible cyclone. Fabrizio asked me if I wanted to come to Mozambique and help them as a Communication Coordinator from Maputo (in Beira electricity, internet, or phone coverage is still a juggling game) and to come as soon as possible to Mozambique. With all that was happening he was not eating or sleeping for days and was very worried about the situation at the missions – some aid was getting to Beira but no one was going to the most remote areas. Shortly after I was phoning Fabrizio back with a positive answer and already the Friday after I was on the plane to Mozambique.

How long will (can) you stay?

Rosa: I was invited to come and help during the emergency. The prediction is for a month now.

How do you feel right now?

Rosa: Everyday is a rollercoaster, you deal with very sensitive information and feedback from the field and you always think in all the friends you have over there, all the faces you used to know and didn’t got news back yet, how the people are struggling, a lot still with lack of food, most of them just lost everything, all the work of their life. However as I am now in Mozambique, and even that the amount of work is huge, I can sleep better now being hands on the job. I am very happy that I am being able to help here in some way.

Thank you and Good luck!