Moza Banco supports social integration project for people with Down Syndrome

Today is World Down Syndrome day.

Generally speaking, people with this condition are very loving and sympathetic. They are sensitive, easily pleased and always willing to convey happiness. Kisses and intimate hugs characterise their particularly kind way of showing their affection. But does society return the affection with the same intensity?

It was with the response to this question in mind that Moza has decided to join forces with the Mozambican Association for the Support of People with Down Syndrome (APSDM), which has been developing various projects for the social and professional integration of people with this condition for over six years. This is a non-profit organisation that supports the psycho-motor development of these citizens, ensuring that they have the practical skills to take up the job opportunities that emerge on the market.

According to the President of APSDM, Ermelinda Nhantave, with the support of Moza and other partners, the association will this year implement the second phase of a training project, with certification, which will enable beneficiaries to have the aptitude to work in a variety of areas including: Human Resources, Cutting and Sewing, Hospitality, Cookery and Handicrafts.

Some of the beneficiaries of the first phase of this project are now employed in public and private institutions that have a partnership with APSDM and which, like Moza, believe in the potential of people with Down Syndrome.

"APSDM's work also involves a lot of social education to raise public awareness of the need to see people with Down syndrome as people capable of learning, knowing and doing, just like anyone else whose physical and mental condition is considered 'normal'. Seeing these people employed, with families, married and happy is, in fact, our great purpose," Ermelinda Nhantave highlighted.

In fact, as well as supporting adults of working age, the association also helps families who have children with this condition.

"Assistance, especially in the embryonic phase of growth, is extremely important for people with Down syndrome, because, just to give an example, a child with Down syndrome can already walk when properly assisted by the age of four, but when this assistance is not given, the child doesn't start walking until the age of nine or ten. As an association, we want to avoid such a delay," explained the President of APSDM, an organisation that brings together around 300 people with this condition and more than 100 with various disabilities.

In fact, 21st March was conceived internationally to invite humanity in general to reflect on the issues surrounding people with Down syndrome.

According to the CEO of Moza Banco, Manuel Soares, Moza is marking this anniversary by once again demonstrating that it is in favour of the inclusion of all Mozambicans.

"As a Bank, we will always support causes that have noble and unifying objectives. We are a family that stands for inclusion and that's why we believe that supporting the training and professional integration of people with Down syndrome contributes to the country having even more professionals available to carry out the various professions that contribute to national development. We are all equal and that's why we should have equal opportunities," Manuel Soares said.

As a bank for Mozambicans, Moza promotes inclusion and equal opportunities for all, thus helping to build a more empathetic, resilient society that respects diversity.


About APSDM:

The Mozambican Association for the Support of People with Down Syndrome (APSDM) was created in 2018 by Mozambican journalist Ermelinda Nhantave following a particular episode that significantly marked her life. When she gave birth to her daughter seven years ago, the doctor in charge informed her that the child had been born with Down syndrome. Impacted by the news, Ermelinda carrried out exhaustive research and learnt more about the condition, its signs and its occurrence in Mozambique. However, as her daughter grew up, Nhantave realised that, in the end, the child didn't have the typical characteristics of the syndrome. Following a new medical assessment, it was discovered that, in fact, her daughter did not have Down syndrome. Even so, Ermelinda decided to make an effort to identify and support people with the condition. This gave birth to APSDM, which today brings together around 300 people with Down syndrome in Mozambique. The association works to offer support and improve the quality of life for these individuals and their families. 

Severino Ngoenha calls for unity among Mozambicans to face current challenges

The Mozambican academic Severino Ngoenha wants Mozambicans to converge in a collective purpose, as a nation, so that they can face the country's new cultural, ideological and development challenges.

Ngoenha's wish was expressed last Thursday, in the town of Maxixe, in Inhambane, as part of the implementation of the II Southern session of Moza Banco's Thinking Mozambique (“Pensar Moçambique”) project, at which he was a speaker, alongside the professor and academic Frei Amaral.  

For Severino Ngoenha, who spoke on the subject of "Identity: an existential dimension that is always to be invented", it is only as long as we are united that we can meet the needs of those who need it most, making for less and less social imbalance.

"It's only as long as we have a collective direction that we can make sure that those less fortunate, instead of one aspirin, have two. Those who walk ten kilometres should walk five and those who only have one meal should have more than one..." Severino Ngoenha said.

Frei Amaral, on the other hand, in light of the topic "Historical-anthropological re-reading of Man from the idea of home as shared interiority" underlined the need to look at Mozambicanness as a continuous process of affirmation and reaffirmation, first individually and then collectively.

"We need to realise that the whole is made up of parts. Only from there will we be able to have a more empathetic and supportive society, ensuring that the idea of a united Mozambique is present in all of us."

Jaime Joaquim, a member of Moza's Executive Committee and the person overseeing the opening of the event, referred to the occasion as a time to "look back on the past and retrieve deep and valuable lessons that can illuminate the path that we currently want to take in the search for Mozambican values".

"We carry on our shoulders the noble mission of forging a future that matches the glorious achievements of our ancestors. A future in which Mozambican identity not only survives, but also flourishes and shines as a beacon of inspiration for other African and world nations. We want us to be able to look back in a few years' time and say with pride that, with the help of all Mozambicans, the "Thinking Mozambique" Project made it happen and became a great success," Jaime Joaquim said.

Through the "Thinking Mozambique" Project, Moza is organising conversation and debate sessions, in which the Bank invites ideologues and thinkers from various fields of knowledge to make their contribution to the process of valuing, rebuilding and appropriating the nation's individual and collective identity as Mozambicans.

This is a project that will be implemented in the three regions of the country, allowing different thinkers and ideologues to contribute their ideas to strengthening culture, patriotism and the sense of nationhood that is already becoming jeopardised by global dynamics, notably hyper-exposure to social networks and different virtual realities.

All the ideas shared in each of the discussion sessions will later be compiled into a book that will be made available for consultation in various Mozambican institutions, particularly national academia. 

In this way, Moza is positioning itself as a bank that acts as a catalyst for a cultural renaissance which inspires Mozambicans to proudly embrace their values and pass them on to new generations.

Paulina Chiziane and Nataniel Ngomane reflect about Mozambique and Mozambicanness

Last Thursday, 22 February, Moza Banco launched conversation sessions called "Thinking Mozambique", in which the Bank invites ideologues and thinkers from various spheres of knowledge to make their contribution to the process of valuing, rebuilding and appropriating the nation's individual and collective identity as Mozambicans.

The sessions will take place in the three regions of the country, with its inaugural session held at Moza head office in Maputo, with the participation of renowned Camões Prize-winning writer Paulina Chiziane and the university professors Severino Nguenha and Nataniel Ngomane as speakers.

Among various topics covered, including experiences and skills, Paulina Chiziane invited those present to appreciate themselves more and more, focusing on their origins and the factors that make them unique and different.

"Don't be ashamed of yourself. Before copying what someone else does, get to know yourself. I, Paulina, have been given several labels. Some religious institutions have even said prayers in my name, but I know who I am: an authentic woman who asserts herself as such. Today, I am one of the most influential women in the world simply because I am authentic," said the writer who set out to discuss "The utopia of African independence".

For his part, the Chair of the Bibliographic Fund and also a speaker at the meeting, Nataniel Ngomane, turned his attention to discussing the sense of surrender and sacrifice for the collective good, bringing as an example the "First Group of Mozambican Students in Cuba", who were invited to return home following the process of decolonisation and government transition in Mozambique.

"We all had one purpose: we wanted to contribute to building the country. Many abandoned their individual dreams to return to the country and roll up their sleeves, putting their acquired knowledge into practice in the nation’s service," highlighted Ngomane, who reflected on the need to have a purpose that cuts across all Mozambicans. 

For the Chairperson of Moza's Board of Directors, João Figueiredo, these sessions will make a significant contribution to praising and celebrating Mozambique's cultural, intellectual and identity richness.

"As the world becomes more and more homogenised, we run the risk of losing what makes us unique, which are our centuries-old traditions, our deep-rooted customs, and our ancestral values. But as Moza, the bank that bears the mark of Mozambican Pride, we stand up fearlessly because we don't want to be mere receivers of information. We want to reaffirm Mozambique as a country with a sparkling culture and collective social values," stressed Figueiredo.

Under the slogan "Thinking Mozambique", Moza Banco will organise conversation and reflection sessions on the Construction and Reconstruction of Mozambique and Mozambicanness in the country's three regions, allowing different thinkers to contribute their ideas to strengthening culture, patriotism and the sense of nationhood that is already being jeopardised by global dynamics, especially by hyper-exposure to social networks and different virtual realities.

Moza is thus positioning itself as a bank whose concern goes beyond numbers. A bank that wants to establish itself as a catalyst for a cultural renaissance that inspires Mozambicans to proudly embrace their values and pass them on to future generations. 

Moza supports Gwaza Muthini festivities saluting the deeds of Mozambican heroes

With the aim of honouring the deeds of the Mozambican heroes who fell on the various battlefronts for the "liberation of the land and men", Moza joined forces with Marracuene district authorities to ensure that the 129th anniversary of the Battle of Gwaza Muthini, in which dozens of warriors gave their lives to prevent foreign domination, was made possible.

The event, which took place on 2nd February, also saw the passing of Mozambican Heroes' Day, which was marked the very next day (3rd February), with the participation of over 15,000 national and foreign citizens in a packed ceremony where tradition and culture "walked hand in hand".

In her speech on the occasion, the Permanent Secretary of Marracuene District, Nércia Sevene, praised the contribution from partners, including the support provided by Moza. "We want Gwaza Muthini to be a celebration that lights the way for a prosperous and promising future for all of us and for this land of warriors". Nércia Sevene added.   

For Executive Board Member Jaime Joaquim, supporting the Gwaza Muthini festivities is an opportunity for Moza to strengthen its sense of belonging and connection with Mozambique's history.

"It's a pleasure to support these celebrations, helping to immortalise this important date in our history, while at the same time underlining our role as a bank that promotes national culture. With this action, we also want to value our heroes, who sacrificed themselves in the name of freedom," Jaime Joaquim highlighted.

This year, Moza intends to further strengthen its actions in the name of Mozambican culture, with the aim of making the history of Mozambique both timeless and cross-generational. By strengthening culture, the Bank believes it is also strengthening itself, since its brand carries the symbol of Mozambican pride - "Made in Mozambique"

Moza disburses 5 million dollars for construction of municipal multistorey carpark at the Central Market

Moza Banco has provided the Empresa Municipal de Mobilidade e Estacionamento (EMME) with around 5 million dollars, equivalent to more than 330 million meticais, in credit, to materialise the project to build the Maputo City Council's multistorey carpark, adjacent to the Central Market.

The already completed infrastructure, inaugurated on Friday (26 January) by the city's mayor, Eneas Comiche, now guarantees a total of 420 parking spaces on 3 levels, considerably easing the pressure on the city's downtown area as far as car parking is concerned. Also under the project, 330 new stalls were added to Maputo's central market, with the aim of minimising the risk associated with informal vending on the city's pavements and roads, an activity that often results in road accidents and other ills.

According to Eneas Comiche, who was speaking at the ceremony to inaugurate the new multistorey carpark, the new building will help to resolve two issues of concern to the town council in one fell swoop, since it "increases the number of stalls in the market to absorb informal vendors, removing them from the pavements and other public spaces; while it also solves the problem of mobility and parking"

On the same occasion, the authorities announced that residents will be able to access the car park for a symbolic fee of 20 meticais per hour, which is considerably lower than the fee charged by private companies in the same sector.

On the sidelines of the ceremony, Jaime Joaquim, a member of Moza's Executive Committee, expressed his satisfaction with the conclusion of the project and welcomed the strength of the partnership with EMME, which dates back to 2017.

"We are proud to know that, with our funding, we have helped to build such important infrastructure for this city. As well as being extremely necessary in the area where it is located (downtown Maputo), the infrastructure reflects how meritorious it can be for Mozambicans to join forces in favour of the common good," Jaime Joaquim said, adding that "as Moza, we commend and want to continue maintaining this partnership with EMME, materialising similar projects in other parts of the city with the same needs."

 By financing initiatives to implement pioneering and essential urban mobility projects, Moza is reinforcing its commitment to sustainable development in Mozambique.