Vanderful / Seeds of hope across Africa
Week 1 – Tofo, Inhambane
After 8 days of travel from Namibia, we arrived in Tofo on the Sunday, introduced to the individuals we were to collaborate with on Monday, and the workshops began on Tuesday!
Vanderful Tofo, Mozambique
We were extremely grateful that our contact and friends Arjen and Michelle had generously improved their workshop’s facilities to host our Vanderful team!
We arrived mid afternoon on Sunday the 7th July, quickly settled in by errecting the tents and offloaded equipment from our roof, then went to eat an authentic ‘Matapa’ at ‘Mama Bia’s’ in Tofo’s market.
Not only was it delicious, but the vibe in the village was vibrant and welcoming; we could already feel that this was right, despite the last minute change – Angola to Mozambique!
Tuesday kicked off to an amazing start. Rafito, George and Tony got stuck into gluing the wood for their boards. The atmosphere was buzzing as the boys started to see them taking shape.
Arjen suggested Manuel as the perfect canditate for the Vanderful team to mentor throughout the next 6 weeks.
Manuel is a known ding repairer in the local community, with a friendly and chilled disposition. He will also be shaping a hollow wooden single fin, pintail board whilst overseeing the process with the children.
Vanderful Expressive Arts (Drama) at ‘Gutsakisana’
Before arriving Arjen had put us in touch with a local friend; Mariana who runs a volunteer project every Tuesday at ‘Tofo Tofo Restaurante’ with owner Sonia and a teacher; Esménia.
‘Gutsakisana‘ means ‘reciprocal joy’.
We met with the ladies on Monday and discussed how we can intergrate Vanderful into their exisiting project. Immediately we got on like a house on fire; it seemed unreal, we had never met before but things felt so familiar!
Their project runs all day on a Tuesday, so come Tuesday; we were introduced to the children.
About 35 strong; the group met us in character as their project was learning about Italy! So naturally; Frankie, Gibbo and I dressed up (leaving a lot to the imagination) as Leonardo Di Vinci, his counterpart and a lady from a painting!
The afternoon continued with a variety of ice breaker games and activities, finished off with some local style dancing – it was fabulous! We spoke with the children and established that 2.30pm would work best. And that was that; Vanderful Drama every day at Tofo Tofo Restaurante for the next 6 weeks.
Vanderful Water sports
Unfortunately we were all so busy during this workshop’s first few days, that none of us were able to take any photographs. However, that didn’t stop the children turning up and having fun!
The first day only 4 attended, but after this, we didn’t expect 15 to turn up the next day! The local children are very comfortable with the water and there are many initiatives already established within the community.
The other 2 workshops were also a success; Vanderful Drama had 22 participants and the Craftsmanship boys glued, cut and began shaping their rails and Manuel stuck down the frame.
We feel so overwhelmed with what has been achieved over the past 5 days, it has exceeded all of our expectations. We are all very excited about our second week in this incredible place!