Hawa 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.
Hawa lives with her mother and grandmother who only depend on God for their daily living. Hawa’s father abandoned the family because he could not provide for their needs.
Hawa’s mother and grandmother struggle to provide food for their family each day so being able to send Hawa to school is not a possibility for them. Hawa hopes to one day have the opportunity to attend school for the first time. She would like to be a medical doctor in the future.