Rescued mother visits relief group

BY HEATHER MOYER | Baltimore, MD | August 3, 2000


Sofia Pedro is now famous for delivering a baby while trapped in a tree during the severe flooding in

Mozambique earlier this year. "We want to pay you tribute for your courage," said ADRA President

Ralph Watts to Pedro. "You are a remarkable lady."

ADRA was the first relief agency on the ground after the severe floods caused by cyclones affected

some 800,000 people. ADRA, among many other relief agencies, provided food and relief supplies for

disaster survivors.

Pedro shyly said she's handling her newfound fame fairly well. "I'm very happy and enjoying

everything, I never thought this could happen to me," said Pedro. Pedro said that her baby is also doing

very well and enjoying all the excitement. During the floods, the very pregnant Pedro along with her

two other children and mother-in-law climbed to the top of a tree when the water rose. They stayed in

the tree for three days with no food or water. Finally, Pedro said she knew the baby was coming. "The

pain was so severe," she said, "I was trying to find the right place (in the tree) to have the baby, and my

mother-in-law was in the tree too, trying to help."

Relief helicopters passed Pedro and her family several times before being able to help them in a rescue

that was captured on film and broadcast around the world. In her publicity tour of the U.S., Pedro has

been to Detroit and Washington, D.C., so far. Pedro was escorted to ADRA's office by Maria Leonor

Joaquim, Councilor for the Mozambique Embassy in Washington, D.C., as well as his excellency

Mozambique Ambassador Marcos G. Namashulua, who urged the public to not forget about those who

are still trying to recover in Mozambique.

The ambassador also called Pedro a 'spokesperson for Mozambique,' someone to symbolize the

suffering of those who went through the floods and are still trying to recover. Watts revealed in the

press conference that ADRA would donate another $250,000 in medicine to Mozambique during the

lengthy recovery process.


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