Dear Friends and Donors,


I am happy to officially announce the publication of ESMABAMA’s first newsletter.

This has been created, as a way of thanking Father Ottorino for his extraordinary commitment, and to commemorate the incredibly constructive legacy he has established through his hard work in the Sofala province in Southern Mozambique.

Father Ottorino has left a strong and powerful legacy. He established the Association with the aim of always keeping in mind the poorest and most needy people of this region. These are the people that have always been his main concern and whose plight has been the closest to his heart.

With this small gesture, we wish to convey our gratitude, from all of us involved , and assure him that we will carry on fighting for his dream and keep the strong charisma and strength shown by him alive, in the hope that we will manage to do as good a job as he has done so far.


Fabrizio Graglia


The 35 Activists specializing in homecare assistance to mothers and the elderly are carrying out crucial work, thanks to the support of both Caritas Austria and the ESMABAMA Association.

Thanks to these 35 Activists’ efforts, about 520 young women who have recently become mothers, their babies, as well as 900 HIV+ people and several elderly people who live far away from the Health Centre are getting home health care. The help they receive includes medicines, food kits to improve their diet and health condition, assistance, help and encouragement in making sure they continue with the ARV treatment. The Activists also provide training to the above mentioned and to the local communities in the fields of hygiene, STD, nutrition and the importance of a safe delivery at the Mangunde’s Mission maternity facility.

The Activists’ work comprises of travelling long distances, establishing social and emotional relationships with those who suffer the most and who have no family, home care to the more fragile cases and support to the greatest victims of poverty and deadly diseases.

These are courageous and committed workers, essential in a world with such social disparity. For many people living in rural areas, the Activists sometimes represent the difference between life and dead.


The Italian Association Macibombo ONLUS has kindly donated the first portable Ultrasound machine, creating safer pregnancies and helping many mothers to be, that if it were not for this new piece of equipment, would be facing harder and much riskier pregnancies.

At the moment, the trained technicians are two Sisters belonging to the Comboniani Mission. They will be the ones to train and teach the Mozambican health workers all they need to know in order to operate the Ultrasound machine. As soon as the health workers are trained, they will be the ones operating the machine. They will provide home health care to pregnant women living far away from the maternity ward of the hospital, and also to many women infected by HIV, that face enormous troubles during their pregnancy.

This project represents a huge step in the modernization of the health care awareness, and it is extremely important as it intends to reach the most remote communities of the Chibabava and Buzi districts. It will provide the necessary care to the mothers living in the rural areas, who would never have access to this kind of help. This is all thanks to the incredible generosity Macibombo’s ONLUS. The women and children cannot express enough their gratitude and thanks to all those who have made this great scheme possible.


With the spirit of cooperation between all the agriculturalists, the communities of Massane, Nhaumue and Daca, surrounding the Mangunde mission are benefiting from an agriculture project in the rural areas which promotes the auto-sufficiency of many families and a new form of income due to the development of skilled work.

In each of these communities an agriculture association has been established and formed with fifty percent of women. Esmabama is also proud that the technical team is composed of young agriculturalists that have studied at agrarian school of Mangunde’s mission, children of the agriculturalists that live in the surrounding areas.

The project has funding from La Caixa and it is managed and implemented by Proyde in coordination with Esmabama. Since November 2013 these three communities have been trained in agriculture in different subjects that are important from the stage of planning, producing and selling, as a way to improve the production of the agriculturalists´ families.

For each association is provided an irrigation system, and there is a service of tractor to work the land and a service of transport to sell the vegetables produced. The majority of all the costs of production are paid by the associations.

All the agriculture associations have been a success since the beginning of the project. Massane’s association with only forty members, have achieved a good production of various vegetables that are currently being sold in the peripheral regions. As well, Nhaumue and Daca will start selling the production in the next weeks.

In a short space of time, we can already see a positive impact on the lives of the agriculturalists and all these communities.


The Management Councils of the Four Missions and all the employees of Esmabama were invited to gather from the 22nd to the 24th of August.

There were discussions on ways of how to improve health, education, agriculture and livestock of Esmabama with the challenge of becoming stronger while having very little and that the growth of Esmabama will only be possible while the four missions continue sharing: The key to growth is ‘Growing together’.

The Esmabama initiative will be decentralized from now on as the Management Councils within each mission will take on more responsibilities in the development process of Esmabama.

The departure of Father Ottorino is not seen as the end, but a turning point of Esmabama. When we make the question “What would happen if Esmabama ended?” – we can only conclude that it is now in our hands, the future of Esmabama and the future of the most poor and abandoned people that live in the southern regions of Sofala province. Father Ottorino’s legacy will continue in the fight against poverty.

The last day of the Assembly was dedicated to honoring Father Ottorino for his 24 years of absolute dedication to the people of Mozambique. The assembly heard that in many ways his actions saved lives, made it possible for entire families to study and taught people how to live off the land. Our gratitude cannot be expressed in simple words as our hearts have been touched and filled with the loving and kind gifts that Father Ottorino has to offer the World.



Father Ottorino Polleto is one of the few people whose charisma, courage, nonconformist and intrepid spirit has contributed, in  literally, changing  the lives of thousands of people.

Many individuals dream of changing the world with their actions, but very few are capable of actually doing it or have the will to carry their ideas through to fruition. Father Ottorino had had the courage to defy himself and the status quo, and during the toughest possible time -the civil war - he decided to take on the hardest project of all… the rebuilding of four abandoned missions in the south of the province of Sofala. All this was possible thanks to the Archbishop’s support.

In his own words… “with the help of divine providence and of many friends and donors from all over the world and after 24 years of indefatigable work”, his legacy has brought to light 4 schools, 4 sanitation facilities, endless agrarian projects, boarding schools, professional schools and the highest number of people with a university degree in the rural world!

The missions now help about 315,000 people daily. Over the past 20 years more than 20,000 people received the opportunity to study to a much higher level of education than could ever have been imagined.

The number of people who have benefitted from the Health Centres facilities, and whose lives have been, in one way or another, saved throughout these years are countless!

Indeed, “God does not choose the gifted ones, but endows the chosen ones!”

We therefore have nothing more to say, apart from a huge THANK YOU to Fr. Ottorino for making all of this possible!



Rua Roberto Ivens 168
Palmeiras 1
Beira, Sofala, Mozambique

Tlf: +258 23312367
Fax: +258 23311887

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  Texts: Rosa Nordeste; Sandra Rodrigues. Photography: Paolo Crimi; Sandra Rodrigues; Tito Cappellaro.
Design: Rosa Nordeste.