Quelimane, Mozambique, 2001
In 2001 I traveled to Mozambique in South East Africa to see a solar eclipse and to study Portuguese. On seeing this astounding astrological event I was moved to think of my place in the world, my path, and what I was doing with my life.
The universe intervened and led me to a mission of Capuchin Brothers, in the tiny town of Quelimane, in the north of Zambezia Province. Miraculously they had a clay workshop. We made a date for six months later when I would return and work with the homeless and orphaned children who came there for free food
This experience completely changed the direction of my life and work.
At first I would sit in my mosquito infested shack at night wondering what the hell I was doing there, I’m sure they were thinking the same thing, but after my first month it became apparent that I was dealing with an issue far deeper than I had imagined. These children have no idea of their potential, no self esteem, no understanding of their place in the world, they are disconnected from their creative spirit because of their need to struggle and survive the harsh realities of poverty, hunger and war. I saw the need for these children to be encouraged and empowered and given an opportunity to be expressive outside the usual forms of education. I wanted to encourage exploration and imagination. Most importantly I wanted the children to gain confidence to create a positive vision for their future; and a new understanding of what is possible.