Florence 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.
Florence lives with her mother and father. Her father is a builder and mother sells groundnuts. Florence is the oldest of three children. Her parents cannot afford to provide for the family’s basic needs and school tuition, uniforms, school supplies and other school fees. However, Florence is the oldest, so they work hard to pay her tuition.
Florence is often asked out of school when her parents need to pay the balance. Being asked out of school and waiting at home for her parents to raise the balance makes Florence sad. Florence enjoys being in school and is in Class 2. Florence wants to be a teacher when she grows up.