"Our lives will only have a meaning if each one of us can confidently say that I was able to bring five, ten, fifteen and twenty women along with me. What I am saying is, do not climb alone!"
- Graça Machel is the founder of the Graça Machel Trust and one of the world’s leading advocates for women, children, and communities affected by conflict and injustice. Born in a rural part of Portuguese East Africa, she attended university in Lisbon before returning home to be a freedom fighter and schoolteacher. After the declaration of Mozambique’s independence, Machel became the country’s first Education Minister. In the years following her government ministry, Machel produced a ground-breaking UNICEF report on the impact of armed conflict on children that changed the way the United Nations and member states respond in conflict zones. Since then, she has worked tirelessly in support of global health, child welfare, and women’s rights and empowerment. Machel is a founding member of The Elders, and played a key role in establishing Girls Not Brides.