Cristina is an 18-year-old young leader born in Mocuba district in Zambezia, a province located in the central region of Mozambique.
The region has been hit by two consecutive powerful cyclones in the past couple of years. The makeshift house Cristina lived in with her parents and six siblings was destroyed by Cyclone Eloise, in 2020, causing the family to join the thousands of people who were in in need of urgent humanitarian assistance, at the time.
The family’s crop field was also washed away making this even worse. “We felt really scared, very scared and very, very lost and uncertain about tomorrow”, she recalls. They sought temporary refuge in a local church.
Cristina is currently in grade 8 and helps in reading camps, where girls and boys are learning how to read and write in Portuguese, Mozambique’s official language. She believes that children’s education, including that of girls, is key to changing the world so communities are better able to deal with extreme climate events such as the one Cristina, her family and communities experienced. Cristina says this is the message she insistently tries to get across to her peers in the local church youth club she is a member of.
Cristina is a young leader participating at the European Humanitarian Forum through the support of World Vision. Read more about World Vision's Child participation and safeguarding principles here.