Precious 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.
Precious lives with her grandmother who does small business trading. Both of Precious’ parents abandoned her because they could not provide for her, leaving her to be cared for by her grandmother. Her grandmother is doing her best to provide for herself and her grandchildren living with her, but she is not able to meet their daily needs and consistently afford school costs.
Precious is able to attend school, but is asked out anytime school fees are due, creating lapses in her learning. Precious is currently in Class 2, and her favorite subject is creative arts.