Graça’s Dream

Graça's mother is pregnant. With one hand on her belly, she gazes out at her barren village. A Mozambiquan flag droops from a pole in the distance.

Graça was about to be born in a small village in Mozambique. The country was poor and the people did not yet rule themselves. Children didn’t have good schools and many couldn’t read. Graça’s mother dreamed of giving her children better opportunities. But without education there was little hope.

Graça's pregnant mother and five siblings stand and cry by their father's sickbed. Their father dreams of his children reading.

Baby Graça would be the sixth child. But with this joyous event there was great sadness. Their beloved father was dying. He dreamed that his youngest daughter would go to a good school. He knew that education would give her opportunities he never had. His family promised to make their dad’s dream come true.

Little Graça sits on her mother's. Her mother reads a story.

Just weeks after their dad died, the new baby was born. She was given a name to match the beauty and blessing that she was – Graça. As the years passed, Graça brought much joy to her family and they kept the promise made to their father. Graça would have a good education.

Graça sits in the front row of a well-equipped classroom among white children. Her teacher stands before them.

Graça worked hard at school and as a teenager she received a gift that would change her life. It was a scholarship to attend a rich city school.

She dreamed of becoming a teacher and using her education to educate others. She wanted the children of her beloved Mozambique to know reading and learning. She dreamed of a time when all children would go to school.

A bespectacled Graça sits at a library desk surrounded by books.

Graça did her best in that city school and years later she was blessed again. It was another scholarship to attend a university in faraway Portugal. She met new friends, learned new languages and read a bounty of books. She realised her dream of becoming a teacher.

All this made Graça very happy. There was only one thing that still made her sad…

Graça stands under the shade of a tree teaching women and children from the village.

Back at home people were still not free. But now Graça had an education, skills, and hope. She also had friends who felt as she did about children’s right to learn. She would use her knowledge and work with her friends. Together they would bring change to Mozambique.

Happy citizens smile and wave Mozambiquan flags.

Finally with the help of all her friends, Mozambique was free!

Graça and Samora embrace on their wedding day. They dream of the house they will live in together.

The man chosen to lead the country was Graça’s special friend, Samora Machel. They fell in love and got married.

The children with no books look sad. The children who have books are happy and proud.

Graça was given the important job of making sure that all children in Mozambique got a good education. It was a hard job because there were so many children in Mozambique who couldn’t read. She knew that they needed education and wanted to make real change in her country. She started with primary schools and getting boys and girls into classrooms. Literacy was her focus and putting books into children’s hands.

Graça and Samora read to their two young children on the couch. In the distance a plane explodes on the tarmac.

Graça and Samora had two children. They shared a dream to create good lives for their own family and for the Mozambican people. They were happy and hopeful.

Then one terrible day, Samora died in an aeroplane crash.

An older Graça and Nelson Mandela stand in the field with a group of happy children.

Graça mourned Samora for many years, but she found love again. She met a man who had also spent his life dreaming of bringing freedom, hope and education to his people.

Graça married Nelson Mandela and together they worked to help Africa’s children.

Graça hands out books to the children of her village. Children can be seen reading everywhere.

Here’s a book, my child. What will it inspire you to do?