Shaping Tomorrow: Stories of Mozambique’s Dedicated Young Learners

June 16th, 2024 | Stories


In two primary schools in Mozambique, three inspiring students are working hard to overcome obstacles and achieve their dreams while advocating for others. Saide, a sixth grader on the Island of Mozambique, inspires other students with his dedication to his studies and hopes to become a teacher one day to share his love of learning. Roseangela and Yunara are best friends who support each others dreams of becoming a doctor and a nurse, and wish for a bright future for the other young people in their community.

This year, the Day of the African Child theme, “Education for All Children in Africa: The Time is Now”, calls on us to reaffirm our commitment to ensuring every child can access education and examine the persistent challenges that stand in the way.

Saide, Roseangela, and Yunara’s stories are examples of how, with the right support, young people can rise and bring others along with them.

Saide's Story

On the island of Mozambique lives a 12-year-old named Saide. With his bright eyes and consistent desire to learn, Saide was often seen reading in the library of his school where he attends sixth grade. Despite growing up in poverty, Saide has never let hardships deter him. When he entered third grade, he already knew how to read and write in Emakhua, his mother tongue, and in Portuguese.

This year, his elementary school has about 1,000 students from first to sixth grade. He stands out as one of the most dedicated students. With pride, the school director, Cremilde, highlights Saide’s perseverance. “He’s an example for everyone here,” she says. “His dedication to his studies and his desire to learn are inspiring. He is proof that, with opportunities and encouragement, any child can achieve their dreams,” she added.

Saide’s parents, with eight other children to support, also feel proud of and grateful for their son’s success. “He is our greatest joy”, they shared. “Seeing his dedication to his studies and how much he dreams of a better future motivates us to work even harder to guarantee the best for him and for all our children.”

The USAID SABER program, implemented by World Education and local partners, supports the Ministry of Education’s efforts to expand bilingual education services so that children like Saide who live in rural areas can learn in their local language and Portuguese and have support throughout their education. Saide shared enthusiastically, “USAID SABER has opened up a world of possibilities for me.”

I want to be a teacher when I grow up. I will teach other students so that they can have the same opportunities that I had,” said Saide, with a smile on his face.

Roseangela and Yunara's Story

At a primary school in the province of Nampula, Mozambique are two inseparable friends: Rosangela and Yunara. Their friendship began in daycare when they were just three years old. They are now 11 years old and attend sixth grade. Built in 1921, their primary school has a rich history and now holds the dreams and aspirations of students like Rosangelo and Yunara.

Rosangela lives 20 minutes from school, with her parents and siblings. Every day, she wakes up at five in the morning to do her homework before heading to school. “I like studying mathematics and natural sciences,” said Rosangela. Her eyes shine bright when she talks about the future. “When I grow up, I want to be a nurse,” she shared. When she returns from school at noon, Rosangela goes to tutoring classes until four in the afternoon. She understands that daily effort is crucial to achieving her dreams.

Yunara lives 30 minutes from the school. Like Rosangela, she also wakes up at five in the morning to do her homework. She shares her goals for her future with the same passion as her friend. “I want to be a doctor,” said Yunara, determined to contribute to the health and well-being of her community.

Their teacher Agnelia witnesses daily the good behavior of Rosangela and Yunara. “They are an example for all students. Their friendship is inspiring and their commitment to their studies is admirable,” she said. Outside of their academics, the two friends find time to have fun and strengthen their bond. Rosangela and Yunara are part of the school’s dance group, where they show their creativity and team spirit.

Outside of her aspirations for her own life, Rosangela expresses a deep desire for other children. Her vision is a future where every child has the opportunity to grow up and learn in a safe and loving environment. Yunara hopes that all children can study hard and achieve their dreams. Together, Rosangela and Yunara embody the promise of a prosperous Africa, where every child can dream freely and reach their potential.

Agnelia firmly believes that the difficulties faced by the children of her community make them more resilient and motivated. “Every day that passes, I see the determination in their eyes. I know that, with support and opportunities, they will go far,” she said with conviction. The friendship of Rosangela and Yunara is a light of hope at their primary school and in the communities in which they live. They demonstrate that despite adversity, education and friendship can be building blocks to better future.

On this Day of the African Child, we celebrate Saide, Rosangela, Yunara and all children who, with courage and determination, overcome daily challenges to work toward their goals. May their stories serve as inspiration for us to continue to build a better future for all children in Africa.

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