Esperança Francisco Mazive
being congratulated by Canadian High Commissioner to Mozambique Sara Nicholls

In March, we told you about how a member of the Murrure youth committee, 24-year old Esperança Francisco Mazive, was named Canada’s Ambassador for a Day by the Canadian High Commission in Mozambique (see full story here).  In May 2024, Canadian High Commissioner to Mozambique Sara Nicholls travelled to Murrure in the district of Vilankulo to meet Esperança, her family and community and to celebrate her work. Esperança is an activist working on issues of women’s rights, focusing on increasing sexual and reproductive rights, preventing early marriage and reducing gender-based violence. She is a member and vice-president of the Murrure youth committee.

High Commissioner Nicholls enthusiastically introduced Esperança at the community meeting as “our leader”, and lauded her important work making critical changes towards greater gender equality.

Esperança making her remarks in Vilankulo

In her remarks, Esperança shared a story to show how she had changed from working with the project and the youth committee.

“About a month ago, there was a call for volunteers to help clear the tall grasses from the road to Vilankulo  that were posing a traffic hazard for cars and pedestrians. I volunteered to help, but my father told me I should not go. He said it was dangerous and besides, it was not women’s work. I usually listen to what my father tells me and I did not mean to disrespect him, but in this case, I told him there was no such thing as women’s work and men’s work. And I did join the brigade.”

Esperança and her family in Murrure

Also present at the ceremony were project managers Ruta Massinguine and Horácio Mandevo. Ruta is the project’s coordinator for community work and was a leader in establishing the youth committees. “Watching Esperança get her recognition was very moving”, she said, “and a testament to the potential for change when young women are encouraged to participate and contribute.” 

Mozambican Project Director Horácio Mandevo agreed, saying how important it is for the project to support women’s rights and empowerment. He also expressed his appreciation to the High Commissioner for the Ambassador for a Day initiative and for her visit to Vilankulo.

About a week later, Esperança went to Maputo to spend a day shadowing Sara Nicholls, and being “Ambassador for a Day.” In Maputo, Esperança met with other youth who had travelled to Maputo from their provinces and made connections with like-minded young Mozambicans.

Our project is proud of Esperança and the Ambassador for a Day initiative and the visits are a fitting reminder of Canada’s useful engagement in the lives of women and girls and communities to create better futures.