Mike Beta age: 13 Date of Birth: December 14, 2000 Mother: Fatima Father: Deceased, March 29 2013 Mother's Profession: Maid
Mike's sponsor is JR Boos and Family Lusaka, Zambia
Family Background: Mike lives with his mother and his grandma and grandpa. His mom works as a maid ('for a white woman,' states Mike.) Maids typically work 5 or 6 days per week, 8-10 hours per day and make from 500 kwatcha ($100) to 800 kwatcha ($160) per month. Mike's grandmother sells vegetables on the street. This is not at all lucrative, and his grandfather is too sick to work. Mike says, "He has the sugar disease." Diabetes is very prevalent here.
Educational Background: Mike attended Bauleni Basic Primary School, a government school, since grade one. Last summer, Mike became friends with some of our RHO Appleseed sixth graders. He hung out around the school frequently, and one day asked if he could attend Appleseed. We told him to talk to his mom and if it was okay with her, we would be happy to have him. Upon enrolling at Appleseed, Mike asked if he could be placed in grade 5 instead of grade 6 where he was at Bauleni Basic. When asked why he said, because his 6th grade friends at Appleseed knew much more than he did. They could read he said, and he could not. Recently, he put it this way, "They were far and I can not reach their position. They will be taking their exams soon." By 'their exams' he means the government required 7th grade exam that must be passed in order to go on to grade 8. Mike wants to do well on his exams when he takes them in October of 2015
Extra Curricular Interests: Mike loves to play football. He plays during PE at school but he is also a part of a local football league. He has been playing with the Bauleni United Academy Sport since he was about 8 years old. In addition to playing football he likes to go to church on Sundays. He and his family attend the United Pentecostal Church of Zambia.
Thoughts about his Future: Like so many boys his age, Mike's dream is to become a professional football player. He wants to play for the Zambian National Team, Chipolopolo. He is a bright and realistic young man though and does have a backup plan. He says, " If God is not prepared for me to play football, then I will be a soldier."
In Zambia, a soldier is a prized job. One must receive very high scores on their grade 12 exams in order to even have a chance. When asked why he wants to be a soldier, he says, " Because my grandpa was a soldier."