Balakissa is a smiley 7th grader at Eagle Environmental Academy in the remote village of Lofine.

She is very lucky to live just a 15 minute walk from the school. She says that she walks to school with her girlfriends and on the way, “…we have fun mimicking the gestures of our teachers when they are in class.” Sound familiar?

Despite that silliness, Balakissa is a focused student. “I will not drop out of school … because I love school. It is through studies that one knows a lot of things,” she volunteers.

“I like physical, chemistry and math because I am good at them. However, I have difficulty in English and Natural Science.” Balakissa adds, “I like to speak English but it tires me.”

After her studies, Balakissa would like to be a secretary. When asked why, she explains that it is inside office work and that sounds pretty good to her.

When asked what makes her happy, Balakissa has a very kind answer, “ I am happy when I see that someone has finished his studies and is working with this knowledge.”

Balakissa has quite a long list of things she would change in the world if she could. “I would change the unhealthy behavior of the gents so that everyone is a real worker and intellectual, remove bars, and [end] robbery. I appeal to all teachers to properly educate us and students to respect the advice of our teachers.

Your support of Mali Rising provides the education and support Balakissa and thousands of other students need to improve their lives and change the world. Thank you for empowering young people like Balakissa!