Mozambican villagers wear multi-colored dresses, to celebrate the completion of the magnificent project - ESG Mafambisse Secondary School - with music and dance. | Photo by Emily Chen | Mozambique | 2024/01/31

On January 31, 2024, after a year and a half of construction, Tzu Chi unveiled the largest high school in Mozambique, ESG Mafambisse Secondary School. The inauguration ceremony was attended in person by President Filipe Nyusi.

Incredible Construction

The inauguration of ESG Mafambisse Secondary School attracted over a thousand Mozambican villagers to celebrate, with President Nyusi in person (front in white shirt) also attending the grand event. | Photo provided by Tzu Chi Foundation | Mozambique | 2024/01/31

President Nyusi expressed his profound gratitude during the ceremony. He acknowledged the remarkable feat of completing construction of the new ESG Mafambisse Secondary School. On behalf of Mozambique, he extended his thanks to Tzu Chi for their invaluable assistance to his country.

Mozambican volunteer Dino Foi (third from left) presented Jing Si Aphorisms to President Nyusi (second from right). | Photo provided by Tzu Chi Foundation | Mozambique | 2024/01/31

Representing the Tzu Chi Foundation, local volunteer Dino Foi presented to President Nyusi Tzu Chi’s eco-friendly blankets, Jing Si Aphorisms and a letter of blessing from Tzu Chi’s founder Master Cheng Yen. Dino Foi shared an anecdote about a girl named Zinha, whom Tzu Chi volunteers encountered during their relief work after Cyclone Idai in 2019. Moved by her resilience in salvaging waterlogged books, Dino Foi emphasized how her story inspired Tzu Chi's commitment to aid Mozambique -- and ultimately led to the establishment of the school.

LEFT: After Tropical Cyclone Idai wreaked havoc across Mozambique, Zimbabwe, and Malawi in March 2019, Tzu Chi volunteers immediately started disaster assessment and relief efforts in Mozambique. In its aftermath, volunteers witnessed young Zinha’s determination to learn, drying her waterlogged books amidst the devastation. | Photo by Dino Foi | Beira, Sofala, Mozambique | 2019/03/23 RIGHT: “I will study hard for Uncle Dino,” young Zinha whispered to everyone with a shy smile. On August 29, the assessment team visited Zinha's family. Zinha sits on Dino Foi’s lap as he shows her the new textbooks he brought her. Photo by Sarah Chu | Beira, Sofala, Mozambique | 2019/08/29

The ceremony was attended by over 1,300 villagers, who participated enthusiastically. Traditional dance performances added to the celebratory atmosphere, while Tzu Chi's booth attracted crowds eager to learn about the organization's contributions to Mozambique.

Tzu Chi volunteers in Mozambique showcased the organization's accomplishments through photos linked to stories. They showed the villagers the impact of Tzu Chi's operations. | Photo by Emily Chen | Mozambique | 2024/01/31

New School Building

Despite being awarded the prestigious title of "Top Quality Campus" in Mozambique in 2009, the ESG Mafambisse Secondary School suffered extensive damage during Cyclone Idai in 2019. It reduced the number of classrooms from 20 to a mere three. After the disaster, students had to share just two toilets.

Tzu Chi volunteers from 52 countries rallied to support Mozambique with many projects to build 23 schools and four Great Love villages. All brought the light of hope to the people of Mozambique. | Photo provided by Tzu Chi Foundation

The recent completion of the new school not only provides 58 classrooms but also incorporates modern amenities such as computer and science labs, to offer students different learning opportunities. The new school building can accommodate 6,580 students and marks a significant improvement from the previous facilities. Additionally, the newly constructed library provides a comfortable space to encourage students to read.

Tzu Chi is currently building 18 more schools in Mozambique -- its commitment to education is unflinching and will bring a brighter future for the nation's young people.

Story by Emily Chen | Mozambique