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One day I will be a police officer who protects women and children from violence and abuse

© UNICEF Mozambique/2011/MC Mukangendo
Luisa (13) goes to primary school in the locality of Chimundo in Chibuto.

CHIBUTO DISTRICT, Mozambique, 10 July 2011 – Luisa, a girl of 13 years, has five brothers and sisters and goes to the local primary school Escola Primaria Completa do Macunene in the locality of Chimundo in Chibuto. She dreams about becoming a police officer one day. In this interview she tells us about her life and how education will help her achieve her dreams in the future.

“The first time I went to school, I was seven years old. Before that I would only go there for fun to participate in the classes of teacher Gloria, who was a friend of my parents. She would pick me up on her way to school. It was a favor my dad asked her to do for him. He didn’t want me to stay home doing nothing. He said that in school I would at least learn something. My dad is a teacher himself. He teaches at one of the local schools called Macunene. He teaches children from 1st to 5th grade. My family always encouraged us all to go to school, without any distinction. At home boys and girls do the same household chores.

I love going to school. When I’m not in school, I don’t feel happy. My favorite subjects are Portuguese and mathematics. I have very good grades. The best about going to school is learning new things. One day I hope to get a good job, so I can take care of my own family. I don’t like to stay at home.

© UNICEF Mozambique/2011/MC Mukangendo
Luisa in front a drawing she made herself about her dream to become a police officer when she grows up.

My dad and my civic education teacher always explain to us how important it is to get an education, both at school and at home. We get moral education at home, which complements the education we get at school. All children have the right to go to school and get an education. Children should not be allowed to just survive from the rubbish they collect. It’s not good for their health, and it keeps them out of school. Once I saw some children living in the street in a film from India. Before that, I had always thought that it was only happening here in my district. The worst thing about not going to school is the risk of ending up in the street and being poor. Through my education I can learn about other places, other cultures and other nice things, also in my own country.

I would like to finish school in five years – if I don’t fail any subject. I would like to go university to study and  become a police officer. I would like to work in the Gabinete de Atendimento a Crianca, a victim support centre located in the police station. I would like to protect women and children. One of my neighbor’s daughters used to be enrolled in the secondary school of Chimundo, but now she is six months pregnant by someone from the community named Paito. She is still a child and so she should be protected from abuse. As a result of the pregnancy she has dropped out of school. Now her future is on hold. With my education I will be able to help others and make sure that the law is respected. I will also be able to get a proper job and take care of my family. My first salary will go entirely to my parents because they have taught me about the importance of going to school, which is the future for Mozambique.”

For more information, please contact:

Gabriel Pereira, UNICEF Mozambique, tel. (+258) 21 481 100; email:



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