chicumbane 17 aerial view 600x358

MESHOA was established after much encouragement, over many years, for the work which Viriato (Vic) Mendes and his mother, Lia Mendes were doing with and for the less fortunate.

Born to an immigrant family in South Africa, Vic grew up in Pretoria with his family always providing some for of aid or relief to theirs and other families in Mozambique through the time of their civil war. They continue to do in some form or another.

As an orphan, Mrs Mendes was brought up by nuns and priests in a convent in what is known today as Maputo, in Mozambique. This is where the importance and value of having vocational skills and being self-sufficient were instilled in her and it is something she has always encouraged others to learn. She has always been involved in teaching groups of people to do embroidery, make clothes and cook.

When Vic was not working on a long term contract, he has involved with training the youth and young adults from various areas and backgrounds, on how to set up, maintain and repair computers in order to help them find employment or able to earn some money by providing a service to fix computers privately. Hopefully growing it into a small business.

The Mendes Educational and Self-Help Organisation of Africa was registered on 28 May 2014, a few years after Vic came up with the concept for MESHOA.

MESHOA goes into remote rural areas which barely have a town, with no colleges or universities available where they could be trained in a profession. These communities survive largely on subsistence farming and odd jobs for unskilled labourers.

With no training or career opportunities near home, the young adults in these areas migrate towards cities where there already isn’t enough work for those who grew up there. Giving these communities the opportunity to learn carpentry, clothing production, construction, mechanical, metal work and various other professions enables the community to make a difference in their own lives and towns. Being self-sufficient will allow them to stay close to home and cities will have less demands placed on them.

The administrative offices of the Xai-Xai district, in the Gaza province of Mozambique heard about the work we have been doing while we were there to give a workshop for the community in Praia do Bilene, Mozambique. Recognising the value of what we do, they donated a 2.2 acre (9000m²/29527.56ft) plot to MESHOA which is in the rural area of Chicumbane for the purpose of creating permanent training facilities which will be able to train the community for an indeterminate amount of time.

With land to train the community on but no facilities to train them in, new challenges arose as construction plans had to be obtained before putting together a construction team so building could start.

We are happy to announce that we now have construction plans to model a training centre after. We will be starting up various campaigns in our quest to build the training centre which can be followed in our blog.


chicumbane 01 Floorplan


MESHOA is also planning to register itself in Denmark so our Danish supporters are able to support our efforts locally as future student and teacher exchanges will be arranged whenever possible.

Follow us on social media in order to keep updated.