MUM student Perpetua Alfazema
Perpetua with some of her Kuwangisana team members
Kapasseni village women at the corn-grinding mill, which saves them 4 hours of hand pounding with a mortar and pestle
Kapasseni pre-school children washing at the pumping well
Perpetua Alfazema —
Hope to Mozambique
Perpetua Alfazema was born in Mozambique but had to flee during the civil war to find refuge in Canada. In 1995, she and her husband returned to their homeland, Kapasseni, only to find the village in ruins. They were determined to help and started the Kapasseni project to revive the area. Perpetua studied to become a nurse and a social worker and founded the Kuwangisana nonprofit organization to help people living with HIV/AIDS, chronic diseases, and poverty.
Since 1998, the Alfazemas have raised funds and created a local and international team that built a 5-room school, installed pumping wells for clean drinking water, a corn-grinding mill, and a food orchard. In addition, they opened a health care center as well as three centers for orphans and vulnerable children.
Perpetua had heard about former Mozambique president Joaquim Chissano, who trained the military in the Transcendental Meditation® program and brought political peace and economic growth after the end of the 15-year civil war. Five years ago at a Canadian fundraiser for her nonprofit, Perpetua met Jenica Coon-Wayman, a teacher of the TM technique who inspired Perpetua to bring back the group practice of the TM® program to Mozambique.
In 2011 Perpetua learned the TM technique and enrolled in MUM’s business administration program to acquire additional skills needed to run her organization.
“My experience at MUM really helped me because the type of work I do can be overwhelming,” Perpetua said. “Coming to MUM, I was able to find the balance I needed to do the work without being affected by it negatively.”
Perpetua has completed her studies and now hopes to inspire others from her community to aspire higher and come to MUM. She is planning to complete the Transcendental Meditation® Teacher Training Course as soon as possible. “I would like my village to benefit from the gift I received.”
“Perpetua is an amazing woman,” said Vicki Alexander Herriott, co-chairperson of the Department of Business Administration. “She is very intelligent, compassionate, and practical. She was very focused and worked hard to accomplish her goals while she was at MUM. Her contagious smile and warm heart made her an instant friend. She was an inspiration to all who knew her.”
Watch a documentary about the Kapasseni project here.