Graça Machel (Mozambique)
Graça Machel was Mozambique’s Minister for Education until 1989 and the chairperson of the National Organization of Children of Mozambique, an organization that places orphans in village homes. She has worked closely with families in her efforts to rehabilitate children, has acted to empower Mozambican women and has been a major force on behalf of worldwide literacy.
Ms. Machel was a delegate to the 1998 UNICEF conference in Zimbabwe, is president of the National Commission of UNESCO, and served on the international steering committee of the 1990 World Conference on Education for All. She was appointed by the secretary-general of the United Nations to chair the Study on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Children. Ms. Machel was the recipient of InterAction’s humanitarian award for 1997, and received a major award from CARE as a result of her long-standing work on behalf of children.
She is the widow of the first president of Mozambique. She is currently married to the former president of the Republic of South Africa, Nelson Mandela, and divides her time between activities in Maputo, Mozambique and South Africa.