Isatu 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.
Isatu's father died during the Ebola outbreak. Her mother has never recovered from the stress of losing her husband and becoming a single mother, so Isatu’s aunt offered to care for her. Isatu’s aunt is physically disabled, but is able to provide for the family as a hairdresser.
She is able to raise school fees, but not enough to pay the full balance, so Isatu is often asked out of school until her aunt can pay towards the balance owed.
Isatu has completed Class 1. She enjoys being in school and would like to be a business woman.