Evelyn 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.
Evelyn lives with her mother and uncle. Her mother works as a small business trader, and her uncle is a taxi driver. She is the youngest of 3 children. Her father abandoned the family, leaving her mother and uncle to provide for them. The income brought in by Evelyn’s mother and uncle is not enough to consistently provide for both their basic needs and schooling. Evelyn is able to attend school until school fees are due again, and she is asked out until the balance is paid. Once her uncle is able to raise the balance, Evelyn is able to return to school.
Evelyn wants to be a president of Sierra Leone in the future, and her favorite subject is Religious Studies. She is currently in Class 2.