Home > Voices from the Alliance > “Education has Transformed My Life”

Adama Diarra began his education at the Fadiobougou school. Now a college graduate, he has hope for a bright future.

Adama Diarra, a former student at the Alliance’s partner school in Fadiobougou

This young man, Adama Diarra, was born and raised in a very poor family in Fadiobougou, which is one of the Alliance partner villages in the Ouelessebougou region. The village is twenty kilometers from Ouelessebougou. Like other starving kids in this tiny village, Adama struggled a lot in his childhood due to the extreme poverty and limited resources in his family. Illiteracy was not a new thing in Adama’s family because his parents neither had a formal nor an informal education. They did not understand that education was important until the Ouelessebougou Alliance built their first primary school in 1995. Hence, they decided to send their son, Adama, to school because they wanted him to have a brighter future.

Adama was one of the first students in Fadiobougou in 1995. Adama says that “building that new classrooms by the Alliance was very important in my village because it changed our lives and opened great opportunities to a lot of students.”  He continues, “It was such an extraordinary coincidence the year the school was built and that was the same year I wanted to go to school.”

Before the Alliance built the school in Fadiobougou, his older brothers and sisters walked about seven kilometers to go to the nearest schools. They either had to go Ouelessebougou which is twenty kilometers from their village or to Sanankoro Djitoumou which is seven kilometers. Attending school was a big challenge. The distance was exhausting, the rain would beat on them, and they had to skip breakfast or bring porridge with them to school. Once they arrived, they were too tired and could not study or learn as well as the students who lived nearby. The parents were worried about their children because they did not know what would happen to them on their way to school. However, when the Alliance constructed the classrooms in their own village, these problems were solved and lives changed for the better.

Even though Adama‘s parents never went to school, his father’s story near the fire at nights inspired and touched this young man to pursue an education. “One night, I was listening carefully to my parents’ conversation by the fire. I heard my father was telling the names of some successful men in our village because of a formal education,” he said. “My father said education had completely changed their lives and families.” Adama smiled to himself and decided that he would like to change his family through education when he started going to school. When he began, he studied very hard and never missed classes except for sick days. “I believe in the power of education. It changes the lives of poor kids and gives them hope.”

“Education has transformed my life and given me hope that one day I will change my family.”

Adama proudly says that education is the key to open golden opportunities for children in poverty. “Through education, my family has become a place of reference in our village because each person in my family contributes financially, and socially.”

After finishing primary school in Fadioubougou, Adama moved to Sanankoro Djitoumou to continue his education at the middle school. He then went on to Bamako for his high school and university education. He graduated from the University of Bamako (FLASH) with a Bachelor’s Degree in English in 2013. Adama is a wonderful student who is always eager to learn and teach others. He loves reading English and French books. “I admire him a lot”, says Djiba Soumaoro, the Alliance’s Program Coordinator. “Among his generation in Ouelessebougou, I can say without hesitation that he is the most courageous and the best reader.”

After completing his Bachelor’s Degree, Adama first started working for the telephone company, Orange Mali in Ouelessebougou in 2016, as an intern and then a customers’ manager. That work helped him learn new skills that he never studied at school. He learned new professional rules, regulations, and work ethics. In 2017, the young man started working for the Bank of Africa (BOA) as an intern where he served as a trading manager and then a customer manager in Ouelessebougou. His responsibilities were to promote banking products and gain more new customers in the Ouelessebougou region. “I did a wonderful job and the Bank offered me three short contracts,” he said. “The work was important because I learned many skills that I did not learn from school. I am a quick learner and love talking to people.” Adama also volunteered as an interpreter in English, French and Bamanankan for Ouelessebougou Alliance’s opthalmology expedition in 2018.

Adama earned his Bachelor’s Degree in English.

Adama credits his early education at the Alliance’s partner school as the foundation for his success. “Education has transformed my life and given me hope that one day I will change my family,” he said. “The message I have for the Utah Alliance donors is to thank them for their generosity, kindness, and of course, for changing my life. I really appreciate their efforts to transform the quality of life in our villages through their education and health programs.”

He also wants the donors to know that “the money goes to the right direction and this organization deeply cares about our present and future. Other donors can follow their example.  I finish my story by this quote. ‘Whoever helps other who are in difficult circumstances and situations, helpers will be rewarded in this and after this world.'”

You can help provide formal educational opportunities for children in Ouelessebougou and help them achieve their goals just like Adama. Please contribute to our 2019 Back to School fundraising campaign. Together we can support village schools and pave the way for a successful academic year.