Ibrahim is a sixteen-year-old boy living in the small village of Kolimba in rural Mali. Kolimba is the location of one of Mali Rising's newest schools, scheduled to open for the new school year in October 2015.
When the new school opens, Ibrahim will be in ninth grade. Last year, he was third in this class and he hopes to do as well this year before taking the national exam in June.
He will need to do well on that exam because Ibrahim is dreaming big. When he grows up, Ibrahim would like to be the country's Minister of Education.
Ibrahim already shows the kind of big picture thinking the Minister of Education would need to demonstrate. When asked about the value of the new Mali Rising school in Kolimba he says, "These new classrooms will encourage students to attend school permanently and study in better conditions. [This is important] especially for girls, because a girl educated is an educated nation."
Ibrahim's last thought is wise beyond his years. Study after study shows that education helps girls improve their own lives, but that it also helps countries lift themselves out of poverty and strife. Mali Rising is expanding our focus on keeping girls in school, and we sincerely hope that a few decades from now we're working with Ibrahim as the Minister of Education to get that done!