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The Real Magician
June 11, 2002

"The path to your heart's desire is never overgrown." —Kigezi proverb


The UNICEF country office in Mozambique created this poem in honor of teaches:

The Anonymous Teacher

This is the real magician

It can only be considered magic that a human being...
With little or no training
With little support or professional guidance
Who lives in a thatched hut, badly ventilated and scarcely illuminated
With no shops close by, and water miles away
At five or ten kilometres from school, that she or he will have to walk
Two times a day (in the morning and the afternoon)
Who receives a salary just enough to buy a week's food, how many times paid late
And that doesn't even buy clothes or furniture

...is able to make a child...
Who walks five to ten kilometres to get to school
After a night sleeping on a ragged mat
In a hut with many cracks and roaming cold
Not having eatem much
After having had to complete domestic chores

....Learn to read, write and count....

In the shadow of a tree
Sitting on the ground
In groups of 70 children
With no chalk or didactic means
With no books or notebooks
With no pens or pencils

It's magic, for the esoteric; a miracle, for the religious. Heroism, for the people and for each child who, from that nothing, acquires knowledge and develops skills.

These are the anonymous heroes of each nation. They are not the heroes of war. Their only weapons are a tremendous love for children and a tenacious desire to contribute to a better world. They are the heroes of peace.

To learn more about the work of UNICEF, go to www.unicef.org.


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