Overcoming to Learn in Mozambique


World Vision helps keep a 14-year-old girl from being forced into marriage.

Each day, millions of girls around the world can’t step into a classroom. Instead, neglect, abuse, and poverty create seemingly insurmountable barriers to their education, resulting in about 496 million women who can’t read and write today. World Vision works in nearly 100 countries to help girls overcome these barriers so they can attend school, improve their lives, and help advance their communities.

Beatriz Cebola, 14, lost her parents a year ago, and an aunt took her in. But her aunt struggled to provide for her, so she decided Beatriz needed to marry instead of attend school. Refusing to accept this fate, Beatriz sought help at a World Vision club she had attended for two years in her hometown in Mozambique—she had helped others but now needed help herself. “I trusted them,” she says. “I knew that was the right place to go.” Through the help of the club and the local World Vision program manager, they secured a trial for Beatriz’s aunt and the man Beatriz was to marry. The verdict came: Beatriz would not marry the man, or else the family would face a penalty. “I felt like I had awakened from the worst nightmare,” Beatriz says. “If I had married, this time, probably, I would be pregnant and out of school, just like what happens to a lot of girls in our community.” Now she is excited about her future. “I want to be a teacher,” she says. “I want to educate other children, just the way I am being educated.”

Written by Kristy J. O'Hara

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