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Samuel, India.

Samuel, 13 years old, is the eldest of three children. Born prematurely, he is disabled and cannot walk. No school in his native village could take him, so his mother Esther decided to move so that her son could have a normal education. The whole family now lives in Kuruthamaankadu, a fishing village in Southern India by the Bay of Bengal. Their hut, made of palm leaves, has no running water or electricity.

In Periyapattinam, the whole school works together so that the young boy can follow his lessons. Samuel is the only member of his family who can read. Because his diction isn’t very good he must push his voice in order to understood with requires great concentration and physical effort. Esther loves for her son to tell her stories. In India, school has only been mandatory since 2010, and today most families cannot afford to send all of their children.

Samuel cannot do anything by himself. His relationship with his two brothers is remarkable. To reach school each day they have to pull and push him in a wheelchair made of recycled bric-a-brac for more than 4 kilometres through sandy paths, rivers and palm orchards.

Samuel wants to become a doctor to help disabled children like himself.

 

 

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Cho, Vietnam.

At the heart of the misty Meo Vac moutains, in Northern Vietnam, a twelve hour drive from Hanoi, Cho, 10 years old, is willing to walk more than one hour to reach her school in Lung Chinh.

In a cool and humid dawn, she, and her sister Gia, meet Tho Thi Ly who also crosses jagged surfaces and slippery paths to go to school.

Their way to school is extremely slippery because of the rains and huge amounts of mud. Many children injure themselves on these rocks.

Yet, despite the many dangers on this path, the girls consider themselves to be very lucky.

Dreaming of being a primary school teacher, Cho energetically leads this little troop. It’s time to go to school, a place where bright futures are born!

 

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Youssef, Cisjordanie

 

Youssef is 11 and lives in the Jordan Valley in the West Bank. He is a “desert dweller”, a Bedouin, born during the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Every morning, alone with his donkey, he undertakes a dangerous journey across the arid rocks, near the military patrols to go to school.

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Devi, India.

In Kalingapatnam, an island-village on the Bengalese coast, Devi is a 13 years old girl all set to travel many kilometers around the plains and rivers of the Andra Pradesh to attain her goal of arriving safe and sound at her school in Kusumpuran.

Devi is fearless in the face of the many obstacles she faces everyday on her way to making her dreams come true.

Hers is a continual fight against the many injustices she encounters daily.

Her dream is to find a solution for the marginalized people of her village who have no access to health care.

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Ani, Malaysia

Ani is 11 and lives in an archipelago northeast of Malaysia.

He is a descendant of the Bajau, the “sea nomads”, son, grand-son and great-grand-son of fishermen.

Morning and evening, he sails on a sea inlet full of jellyfish, accompanied by his cousin, to go to school.

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Kritika, Nepal

 

Kritika is 11 and lives in the rugged mountains of the Himalayas in Nepal, along with his mother and his grandparents.

His father went to work in Dubai.

Each morning at the head of a troop of schoolchildren from the village, it crosses steep paths, frail bridges and waterfalls to reach his school.

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Olivier, Marie and Veronique – Mali

 

Olivier is 9 and he has got two sisters, Marie and Veronique.

He lives in Senou, Mali, near Bamako.

Although the front is hundreds of miles away, the war has hardened their conditions of life.

With two old bikes for three of them, every morning Oliver and his sisters are trying to reach their school through the muddy tracks.

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Erbol, Kirghizia.

At an altitude of 2400 meters, in the heart of Kirghizia, Erbol (12 years old) harnesses his horse.

Far away from the capital of Bischkek, in Kichy Naryn, a tiny hamlet lost in the vastness of the Naryn province, the young man has to face more than two hours and a half in the freezing cold to go to his school.

Completely alone, he must only count on himself and on his loyal mount to get through the plains, moutains, and thick forests inhabited by all of his childhood fears.

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Francklyn and Olivier, Madagascar.

In southern Madagascar, in the village of Andranotakatse, two young brothers Francklyn (14 years old) and Olivier (12 years  old) walk 20 kilometers every Sunday to reach their school.

On foot, they travel across an ochre desert and the Ambatry forest. These two « rival brothers », brave and cautious, stick together and do whatever it takes to arrive safely at their school in Betioky.

Their daily fight for an education, one started years before by their father, empowers them to envision a bright new future where they will not be forced to be zebu breeders as is the custom in Madagascar.

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