Burke Girma: A Week in the Life of a 16-year-old Ethiopian Student Athlete

Burke Girma is a 16-year-old student who lives in Bekoji, Ethiopia with her mother, sister and three brothers. She is an Athletic Scholar with the Girls Gotta Run Foundation. (Photo: Courtesy of Sosi Moss)

Assembly — The Malala Fund newsletter

Assembly’s Game Changers series features female athletes around the world who defy convention on and off the field.



Today was a normal day. I woke up and washed my face and hands and changed my clothes to get ready for school. I made breakfast for my siblings and me. We had tea and bread. I walked to school and studied with my friends. It takes me about an hour to walk from my house to Bekoji High School. We have half days of school and each month it changes whether they are in the morning or afternoon. This month we have school in the morning and next month we will have school in the afternoon. After school I had lunch with my teammates. Girls Gotta Run Foundation (GGRF) provides lunch for our team every school day. In the afternoon I went to athletics training and walked back home to study.


Tuesday is market day in Bekoji. My family and I live on a small farm just outside of the town of Bekoji. We started to raise animals on our farm and trade goods at the market twice a week. On market days, I wake up early to help my mother bring items to the market to sell before I go to school. We take a garee (a horse-drawn carriage) to town because we have heavy goods to bring. We usually sell eggs, produce, traditional homemade alcohol and sometimes livestock. The market can be really busy but it’s a nice time to see my mom’s friends and other families. I help my mom set up her little shop and then I go to school. After lunch, I return to help her sell any final items before the market closes. Then I go to running practice and head home. It’s been a long day but market days are usually the longest.

(Courtesy of Sosi Moss)


We had a fun practice today at the track. We do our trainings in different locations: the track, the forest, a large field. I enjoy the variety. Our track practice today included some speed drills and a few games that I enjoy. It makes me feel strong when we do speed drills, I can see the improvement I am making. I really love training with Coach Fatia. Our coach is female and she is like our second mother. We have a good relationship with her and I have learned a lot from her. Our team is all girls. It’s the first of its kind in Bekoji and it makes me proud to be part of a team like this. We play together and eat together and even study together after school. I have made many friends by being part of this program.

Read more »


Ethiopia: Girls Gotta Run Foundation Announces New Leadership

In Sodo & Bekoji, New GGRF Athletic Scholarship Keeps Girls in School

Why Girls Gotta Run: Tadias Interview with Dr. Patricia E. Ortman

Join the conversation on Twitter and Facebook.


















Copy Protected by Chetan's WP-Copyprotect.