Meet Natogoma K., a 16-year-old ninth grader at Mali Rising’s Eagle Environmental Academy in Lofine, Mali.

Last year Natogoma took the national ninth grade graduation exam, but like 70% of kids in Mali she did not pass the test. Luckily, Natogoma has grit and resiliency – she came back this year for another round of ninth grade and another shot at the national exam. She says, “I really hope I will be admitted [pass] this year.”

Natogoma is an enthusiastic student, so if enthusiasm helps (and we think it does!) she should pass this year’s exam. Natogoma says, “I like subjects like math, physics chemistry, history and geography. I have difficulties in English but I love it."

Natogoma has 5 brothers and sisters, and they live 7 kilometers from the school in Lofine. Each day, she does chores like gathering the family’s water from the well before trekking the 7 kilometers to school. When she returns home at the end of the day, Natogoma is in charge of preparing the family meal. She says “I love rice with onion sauce.”

When asked about the future, Natogoma has a pretty clear vision for a 16-year-old girl. She would like to go to work in the government after graduation to help the country move in the right direction. When asked what she would like to do to improve the world she focuses on her own village, saying she would like to bring electricity to Lofine. 

Your support of Mali Rising has set Natogoma on a path to a better life and a better Mali. Thank you for helping hundreds of great kids like Natogoma!