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 lives with her mother and father. Isatu is one of three children. Her father is a migrant farmer and leaves the family for long periods of time to work in the provinces. This leaves Isatu’s mother to run the home on her own.
Isatu’s father is able to raise enough of her school tuition to get her enrolled, but she is asked out when the next payment is due. Once her family raises the balance, Isatu is able to resume her learning. Isatu loves being in school. She is in Class 3 and wants to become a bank manager in the future.