Anita 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.
Anita lives with her mother and father who work as small business traders. Anita’s parents manage to provide food each day for their children, but it is difficult to pay school tuition, uniform, school supplies and other school fees for the children. Anita is able to attend school, but her parents struggle to pay the entire tuition.
Anita is asked out towards the end of each term and must wait until her parents have money to pay the balance. This impacts her quality of education each year. Anita loves going to school and is currently in Class 2. She would like to become a doctor in the future.