Mariam just exudes confidence. For a 14-year-old girl from the tiny village of Sankama, she has a lot figured out about the world and big plans for her place in it.

Luckily, Mali Rising supporters like  you are about to give her a big bit of help in making those plans reality.

Our conversation with Mariam started out with a pretty typical story -- she's the daughter of a farmer and a homemaker. She has 7 sisters and 1 brother. She loves to run and play volleyball.

But then our chat took a surprising turn. Mariam volunteered -- to her 70-something male interviewer -- that she opposed female genital mutilation (FGM) and that she hopes to change the practice in Mali. Once our interviewer recovered from his surprise, Mariam talked openly about this often hush-hush topic in Mali and explained the health reasons why she opposed it.

In fact, Mariam shared she'd like to become a nurse in order to improve the general welfare of her village, and to have a forum for changing minds about FGM. In her largest dreams, she'd like to open a health clinic in Sankama because the nearest medical help is 15 kilometers away.

With your help, we’ll make Mariam's dreams come true. In 2018, we’re partnering with Mariam's parents and village leaders to build a school right in Mariam's village. Learn how you can get involved.