Princess 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.
Princess lives with her mother. Her father could not provide for their family, so he abandoned them. Currently, her mother does small business trading to support them, but she cannot afford to pay for school tuition, uniform, school supplies and other school fees, in addition to meeting their basic needs.
Princess was old enough to be able to begin Kindergarten this year, but her mother could not afford to send her. Princess is anxious to begin school. She wants to become an attorney in the future.