UN Secretary-General sends condolences to family of young Mozambican activist

Mar 29, 2016

UN Secretary General with Raquelina Langa in 2014

Raquelinha Langa, a 20-year-old high school student and activist from Mozambique who had visited the Secretary-General in 2014, was buried today (28 March) in Maputo where she died after complications from anaemia.

In a letter to her family after her passing, the Secretary-General expressed his deep personal condolences. In a statement read by his Spokesperson, he wrote: “while her life was short, her legacy will be long. Raquelinha was more than a bright individual from Mozambique; she was the embodiment of why the world needs to invest in the health, well-being and future of young women everywhere.”

Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Raquelinha met for the first time when the SG visited her school in Maputo in 2013. She asked him how a woman could become a UN Secretary-General. To encourage her and through her young women all over the world, the SG invited her to experience a life of a Secretary General for one day. Raquelinha spent International Youth Day August 12th 2014 at UN Headquarters, where she met the SG.

When meeting the young activist in New York, the secretary General said why the then adolescent had caught his attention. The UN chief said he wanted to send a strong message to the world through his response, and Raquelina’s question that a woman could became secretary general. The setretary general said he thought it was a right moment that after seven decades of the United Nations, a woman was considered to lead the organization.

Raquelinha was being treated during several months until Friday when she passed away. Her condition deteriorated in such a way that she could not attend classes from the beginning of the school year in February.

The teacher who accompanied her to the United Nations, lamented her death saying “Raquelina passed away but her dreams and dedication for the wellbeing of others will continue to  inspire young women in Mozambique and elsewhere”.

UNDP Around the world

You are at UNDP Mozambique 
Go to UNDP Global