I Made Sujana is in his first year of Jr High School, grade 7, and is 12 years old. He lives in Tegallalang. In order to enter Jr High, his parents had to take out a loan to pay the entrance fee, which added to their already enormous debt they had from building a house. Sujana is the second child out of two. He has a disabled older brother with Down’s Syndrome.
When his mother can, she works as a rice field laborer, but she can’t work full time because she needs to be home with his brother. His father does this too, and if they’re ‘lucky’ they earn about $40/month. Financially, the family’s life is a vicious cycle of paying off debt and trying to survive. But, they really needed a permanent house for themselves and their sons and are willing to work to pay this off, as well as struggle with Made Sujana’s school.
Sujana’s hobby is playing gamelan, the Balinese orchestra, and it’s his extra curricular activity. He dreams of being an artist, someone who really works in art and culture. Sujana is also able to dance traditional Balinese dance. His favorite subjects are mathematics and English.
Sujana’s parents really believe in education, something admirable in people who did not get one themselves and struggle to get by. They want their son to have a better life. He goes to school using his father’s motorbike, while his parents go to work by foot. Aside from school, Sujana plays soccer in his free time. He used to learn how to carve wood, but he had to stop because he doesn’t have the tools.