Adiaratou lives in the village of Simidji in Mali. She is 15 years old and just finished the 8th grade at Mali Rising’ Sue Chung Chiu Middle School.

Adiaratou explains, "School is important to me because it's like a way out that will allow me to achieve my goals, to have confidence in myself, and to be able to do many things in life without depending anyone."

Luckily for Adiaratou, in 2008 Mali Rising built a school in her village -- the Sue Chung Chiu Middle School. "If there were no school in my village, I would have to travel many, many kilometers to school in a neighboring village. Or, even worse, I would have to remain illiterate like many women here because my parents would never allow me to go study in another village because I am young. My favorite part of school is the monthly meeting of Mali Rising’s Girl Project."

Adaiartou has interesting plans for her life after graduation.  "After obtaining my diploma, I'd like to go to a school of sewing because I want to create new and beautiful styles and designs," says Adaiartou. "When I grow up, I want to be designer. It is important for me because my dream is to open a sewing shop in my village so all the people in the village will come to me to sew their clothes. In 10 years, I would like to be married to the man of my dreams, have two children, and also have my own sewing workshop. I will be educated, capable, and free to make all the decisions myself."

Along with farmers, small business owners are the backbone of Mali's economic communities. Adiaratou's education will allow her to attend sewing school to learn the skills of her trade. But it will also provide the math, French, and other basic skills needed to run her business books, comply with government rules, and more.

Like so many of our students, Adaiartou has big plans for giving back once she succeeds in life. She says, "If I succeed in life, the first thing I would do is to build a health center in my village, which would contribute not only to the development of my village, but also to the development of my country. I would also build a new cement house for my parents."

"The people I should thank for my education are: Mali Rising for building our middle school because middle school is very important in a child's education. I also thank them for supporting us with the new Girls Project," exclaims Adiaratou. "A big thank you also to my parents for giving me the opportunity to study and to all the teachers who have taught me during my time at school."