Kadiatu 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.
Kadiatu is a paternal orphan. She is the youngest of five children. Kadiatu’s father died during the time of Ebola when she was only one year old. Kadiatu’s mother is a beggar and relies on what others give her to provide for her five children.
School is not a possibility for Kadiatu right now, but she longs for the opportunity. She is able to learn English and Math at home and hopeful to one day begin Class 1. Kadiatu would like to become an attorney in the future.