Who We Are
We are a team of Mozambicans and Americans who are passionate about creating opportunities for children to live healthy, productive lives.
Roberto is the Co-founder and Programs Manager of the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative, as well as President of our registered Mozambican association “Iniciativa Moçambicana de Lanche Escolar” (IMOLE). Born and raised in Chokwe, Mozambique, Roberto is fluent in Xangana, Portuguese and English, and has deep knowledge of the challenges facing Mozambican communities and the key pathways to create better opportunities. Prior to co-founding the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative in May 2016, Roberto worked for over 12 years for various international development organizations, including Oxfam, GOAL, and Samaritan’s Purse. In particular, he developed his skills leading an organization as managed of human resources at Samaritan’s Purse, where he also held other roles leading monitoring and evaluation and program development. He earned his degree in Business in 2011 from the Economics and Management College of Mozambique, where he has been an assistant professor since 2012 and a full professor since 2015, teaching night classes in finance. Roberto excels at creating strong teams and developing the strategy for implementing our school lunch program in collaboration with local communities. Roberto was selected as a fellow for the inaugural international Moonshot House Incubator program in Mozambique, run by the Kravis Lab for Social Impact at Claremont McKenna College Mozambique in August 2018. Roberto aspires to grow the organization to become a major player in long-term strategies to strengthen food security and reduce poverty.
Talvina’s voice was the call to action to address the crisis of children dropping out of school due to hunger in Mozambique’s villages. Her deep empathy for Mozambican children inspired her colleagues to come together and co-found the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative, where she has been Programs Supervisor ever since. A local of Chokwe, Mozambique, Talvina grew up facing similar conditions as the children served by the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative. She is a proud mother of two girls and believes that all Mozambican children have the right to good nutrition and education. Previously, Talvina worked for multiple international organizations, including six years at Samaritan’s Purse, where she managed the procurement and preparation of meals as head cook at the Gaza Province’s headquarters. As Program Supervisor at the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative, Talvina is responsible for coordinating the school cooks, developing nutritious recipes, supervising meal preparation, and procuring foodstuffs. Talvina focuses on creating a school lunch program that works with local communities and is run with the utmost integrity and rigor. In this way, she believes school lunch programs can spread across more schools in Mozambique.
Cara co-founded the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative in May 2016 and has served as its Executive Director ever since. She first started working in Mozambique in 2013 for Samaritan’s Purse, where her fluency in Portuguese (the national language of Mozambique) allowed her work directly in rural communities and better understand the challenges they faced. It was then that she met her colleagues Talvina and Roberto and formed strong friendships and a commitment to improving the lives of Mozambicans. Since then, she has also worked on a project with women entrepreneurs in Mozambique for Oxford Policy Management and multiple agricultural and education projects for the World Bank in Mozambique, where she is currently a consultant. In May 2018 she received a Master’s in Public Administration in International Development from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government where she was also a New World Social Enterprise Fellow and won the Harvard President’s Innovation Challenge People’s Choice Award for her work with the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative. Cara sees herself as a bridge that can help develop partnerships to expand the mission of the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative and make sure that no child goes to school hungry.
Jaime is the chief agronomist of the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative, leading the agricultural extension and market facilitation with the farmer groups in our supply chain. Born and raised in Chokwe, Mozambique, Jaime is fluent in Xangana, Portuguese and English, and has deep knowledge of Mozambique’s rural communities and a passion for smallholder farming. He has a degree in agricultural engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of Gaza and over four years of experience prior to joining the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative team. Jaime continues to invest in his own knowledge by attending regular workshops and has developed a wealth of technical knowledge and connections in the agricultural space that ensures we are able to support farmers with the most up-to-date technologies. Jaime is deeply committed to the farmers he works with, willing to go the extra mile to help them succeed. He is patient but determined, bringing innovative solutions to agricultural challenges and adapting them to the particular context of each farmer group he works with. In particular, he is a champion for gender equality and uses his role to empower women farmers in the community. He leads by example, showing solidarity with the farmers. Under his guidance, farmers have more than tripled their yields and have grown to become the chief suppliers for the school lunch program Through his role, Jaime aspires to transform the agricultural production of smallholder farmers in Mozambique and create a sustainable path out of poverty.
Digital Marketing and Fundraising Partner
Ahuti joined the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative in 2020 as Digital Marketing and Fundraising Partner. Born and raised in Mozambique, with a Bachelor's in Information Sciences from South Africa, she brings the skills and heart necessary for this initiative. Experienced in the field of Digital Marketing and Campaigns, she has decided to give back by helping build Mozambique School Lunch Initiative’s global digital presence. Previously, Ahuti has also helped raise funds for school materials for the Escola Primaria da Costa de Sol in Maputo, as well as the Malerato Centre of Hope in South Africa. In her early childhood years, Ahuti often visited Chokwe and always knew she wanted to help this community. She believes that investing in nutrition can foster learning enthusiasm, and encourage overall physical and mental health development among children in rural Mozambique. A quote she lives by is “Don't just give to get. Give to inspire others to give.” -Simon Sinek.
Advisor, Food Systems Consultant
Taylor joined as an advisor and Food Systems Consultant for the Mozambique School Lunch Initiative in 2020. He is a social entrepreneur dedicated to designing and implementing nutritious low-cost plant-based food systems. Taylor works closely with the other members of the MSLI team to strategize and launch an income-generating nutritious food operation in Mozambique that will expand MSLI's impact and create a sustainable funding source for the organization. Previously, he moved to Liberia during the Ebola outbreak in 2015, and used his background as a food anthropologist and social entrepreneur to build and launch a Liberian-owned and operated business that produces nutritious low-cost delicious food (flavored cassava-based porridges) targeting consumers living in extreme poverty. Since then, he has taken this nutritious low-cost plant-based food approach to work in 10 countries, ranging from Brazil to Somalia.