WSU Students Raise Funds to Build Mozambique Women’s Center

OGDEN, Utah – Weber State University's Mozambique Women’s Center Project (MOZWOC) will host “UNITY: An Evening of Culture and Art to Benefit the Women of Mozambique” March 15 at 6 p.m. in Shepherd Union Ballroom B. The program will offer live music and dance, a raffle and a silent auction to raise funds to build a women’s center in Mozambique.  

The event will feature music and dance by:

Tom Bennett Matthew Lanier Christopher Futral & Kairo
Vincent Draper Beaute Obscure Boogietechz
Guadalupe Calderon Megan Roch Roxanne Vigos
Candice Ortiz    
African art and other merchandise will be available for silent auction and raffle prizes. Tickets for UNITY are $15 general admission, $8 with student ID or $32 for a group of four. They can be purchased at the door or online at with a small fee, and each admission comes with a free raffle ticket. All proceeds will help MOZWOC reach the final $5,000 toward its goal of $50,000 for the women’s center.

The MOZWOC project is an interdisciplinary effort sponsored by the geography, dance, and women and gender studies programs, as well as the nonprofit organization  No Poor Among Us (NPAU). Students enrolled in “Mozambique: Place, Gender and Dance” will have the opportunity to visit Mozambique in May. There, they will spend 17 days working on the women’s center, teaching women basic finance management, and helping with medical and educational needs.

“The women of Mozambique face a number of challenging issues,” said geography professor Julie Rich, who is coordinating the MOZWOC program. “Women  in that country approached NPAU saying ‘We need a center, we need a place of refuge, a center where we can find hope.’”

Construction on the women’s center began last month. The finished building will have an assembly room for lessons and activities, a kitchen, a bathroom, a four-bed dormitory, two medical exam rooms, a private consultation room, an office and storage space.

The students will travel to Mozambique in May and put the finishing touches on the construction of the building and add a bit of Wildcat flair by painting inspirational murals inside.

“There are little subgroups within the project,” said MOZWOC student Ryann Thoits. “Some are building a garden, and I will personally be helping teach English and basic math skills.”         

Others will offer lessons on finance and business skills, hygiene, gardening and raising chickens for food. They will visit homes and help the women implement healthier habits. Additionally, students will teach the women how to modify their handicrafts and make them more marketable. A documentary subgroup will film the efforts and create a feature-length documentary about the project.

Though varied in approach, every subgroup will help the women develop the positive environments and skills they need to create a better quality of life for themselves and their families.

Students are already working on their projects — the hygiene subgroup is sewing reusable sanitary napkins, and the chicken subgroup is learning how to care for broiler chickens. The education group is collecting small early-reading paperbacks to donate and making English flash cards for the women to study.

To learn more about MOZWOC and how you can contribute to the project’s success, visit or contact Julie Rich.

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Julie Rich, geography professor
801-626-6209 •
Ivonne Dabb, University Communications
801-626-7925 •