Kadiatu, 15 years old

I lost my father and sister to Ebola when I was in the first year of secondary school and they were the ones looking after me. My mother is a tailor by trade but she can’t get any work so she sells in the market. I’m not able to go to school because since my father and sister died I have to help my mother sell to earn some money.

For any girl that has some help from their parents, education is a great thing, as long as they want to learn. Let us go to school. It will make a better future for we girls and for our country.

People in the community advise us to focus on our studies and not get distracted by men. If a girl for instance gets pregnant then there parents will look at them and say: “well, this is useless, we paid for your education and this has happened.” So they just stopped supporting them. People here in the community believe that learning is important to help you get by in future. But, even then, some of us here can’t afford it and don’t get that support to make sure we stay in school.

So some girls can’t go. And if I had the power to change things, I would sit girls down and encourage them to go to school. Whatever they want to learn: school or skills training, like catering, I would help them to get it. Let them not end up like me unsupported and out of school. 

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