Kalifa, a nine-year-old boy, is dismissed from school on the first day because he has no desk. Determined to send their children to school, Saran and Chaka, Kalifa’s parents, borrow money to buy the desk. They also rent a wagon for the little boy who will work removing garbage in the same neighborhood where his mother works as a maid.
His sister, Fanta, works as an orange vendor. Kalifa has no illusions about life. Fanta is determined to go to school and to extricate herself from poverty. A pregnant woman dies in a hospital from médical neglect and Fanta is deeply affected. As they are swallowed up definitively by their jobs, she says, “we should have died young”.