Diya’s story

African girl, head and upper body, looking at cameraDiya is 11 years old and lives with her grandmother in Mkoche village, Malawi.

Over half of Malawi’s population live below the poverty line – earning less than $1 per day.

A typical day in Diya’s life

“After I wake up, I wash the dishes from the night before and then make porridge for breakfast.

“From 6am to 10am I work on our plot. I grow groundnuts, maize and cotton. At the moment the rains have come, so I am weeding. Sometimes I get work on other people’s plots and earn around 24 kwecha an hour (less than 8 pence).

“Our home is made of clay and bricks but the roof is covered with grass, so when it rains, water comes through the roof. The room where I sleep is damaged.

“I attended school in Year 1, but I always felt the odd one out as I didn’t have a uniform. So I left school.

“I envy my friends who can read and write, but even if I could go back to school now I wouldn’t want to because I would be put in the first class with the young children. They would all laugh at me as I can’t read and write and am so much bigger than them.

“When I grow up I want to be a farmer… but a good farmer is a farmer that can read and write.”

Photo © Graeme Robertson