Here’s the latest feel-good story from the team at Dana Tours about a fellow Mozambican making all the difference. Rui Santos runs Plataforma Makobo, a soup kitchen in Mozambique. Their initiative, Lancheira Solidária (Solidarity Lunchbox), currently supports more than 1 000 people daily in different neighbourhoods in Maputo City and Province.
Natalie Tenzer-Silva, Director of Dana Tours, has worked with Rui for a number of years and wanted to share how just one person can make a big difference.
“Rui Santos is one of the most incredible humans I’ve ever met. He is humble and works incredibly hard, feeding many people including at least 120 children from a local school in Pescador who receive a hot lunch every day. At night he moves downtown feeding the homeless with his solidarity soup initiative,” she says.
Towards the end of 2018, Dana Tours were sourcing delegate bags and lanyards for a group of 1000 medical professionals attending a conference in November of the following year. Natalie tried many avenues but was unsuccessful in finding a reliable supplier.
“The client wanted to source them in South Africa but I flatly refused, wanting to support a local supplier of course,” she adds. “A friend of mine recommended I contact Rui and I was taken aback by his humility and openness. He explained what we would be supporting if we were to purchase from him. He has a facility which makes recycled paper, bags and boxes from banana fibre which are lined with ‘capulana’ fabric.” Capulanas are local sarongs in vibrant colours worn by Mozambican women.
“His prices were fair and within budget. When I called him to confirm the order, he literally screamed with joy. I’ll never forget his elation. He said: “Natalie, do you know how many people I can feed with this order?”
The bags and lanyards arrived on time. Each item was scrutinized for perfection and the few that had some tiny flaws were immediately replaced.
“Our client told us that usually, delegates recycle the bags they receive and don’t take them home. But they were pleasantly surprised that almost all the delegates took these particular bags home. The colours were so vibrant and the bags were so well made.”
Natalie adds that wherever there is a need, Rui is there. “When Cyclone Idai hit, Rui fed 14,000 people in Beira cooking a ton of rice per day. He was back up north later last year, feeding fellow Mozambicans in the Cabo Delgado province when Cyclone Kenneth hit.”
He is a remarkable human being and it is a privilege to work with him,” she concludes.
Through the Lancheira Solidária, Rui and his team are now in the process to establish four kitchens in Pemba City, to support 20.000 internal displaced people daily.
For more information, visit the website, or follow Plataform Makobo on Facebook. They also have some videos that offer a more comprehensive view of their work here.
The team from Dana Tours have also rounded up a few worthy additional organisations and projects here, including Rui’s Makoba initiative.