Lamerana lives in the Monkey Bush community of Waterloo. Education is not free in Sierra Leone; families must pay for tuition, uniforms, school supplies, and other school fees. With parents struggling to provide for their families, this expense is many times not possible.
Typically, those who can afford to send their children to school will choose to send only their sons. Girls will be left at home to tend to daily chores and their younger siblings while parents work.
This lack of education and supervision leads girls just entering into adolescence very vulnerable to teenage pregnancy. For girls who have not been given access to education, they are often left with no option but to marry as early as 16 years of age, so they can be financially supported by their husband.
Lamerana lives with her mother who does small business trading to earn a living for her family. Her father abandoned the family after not being able to provide for their needs.
Her mother is able to provide for some of Lamerana's needs, but isn't able to afford to send her to school. Lamerana is now the age to start school this year in Class 1, but there is not money available to enroll her or buy the necessary supplies to attend.