My name is Domboué Nibéissé. I am 15 years old. When I was 9 years old I had to leave school to work in the cotton fields.
I live with my aunt, I have five older brothers, five older sisters and three younger sisters.
I started school when I was 8 years old, but one year later in CE1 (2nd year of primary school) I stopped school because we didn't have enough money. I was upset not to go. I didn't like it because my friends would go to school and leave me on my own.
When I stopped going to school, I went to work in the fields to earn some money.
It was difficult work and tiring. We picked cotton by hand. There were a few other children working alongside me.
I used to start sowing at 9am, rest around 1pm, and at 4pm I would go home. I was given between 500 (USD 0.79) and 750 francs (USD 1.19).
When it was not sowing or harvest time, on market days, I helped sell clothes to make some money.
When I was 11 years old, a school reintegration centre (Centre de Stratégie de Scolarisation Accélérée / Passerelle - SSA/P) contacted us so that I could return to school. I was able to join the centre, and I was really happy because I knew I would learn a lot.
At the SSA/P centre, I learned to count and read in Dioula, we did our homework in Dioula, and then we learned to count and do calculations and homework in French. Thanks to this, I was able to go back to school in the formal system, in CM1 class (fourth year of primary school).
Now that I am back at school I feel good. I am very happy because I have found my friends. During recess I like to play football with them.
My favourite subject is the study of texts. When I grow up I want to be a policeman.
Children belong in school, not at work. When I was working I didn't like it because it made me tired. And even though school is sometimes a bit difficult, I will learn and one day I will earn a living from it.