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Admire – Sierra Leone

My name is Admire and I am now 18 years old. I have two brothers and two sisters. My father and stepmother have always been business people who sell different goods.

Money was always tight for us – it was just never enough.

When I was around 15 years old, I got into a relationship with a boy who was a student in another school. He would give me money which I would use to buy lunch and other essential things like sanitary towels.

I fell pregnant, and everything changed

Unfortunately, I fell pregnant within the same year that I started dating him and then things started changing. He stopped talking to me and did not want anything to do with me. Because I didn’t know what to do, I was very scared.

I decided to hide my pregnancy and would wear baggy, oversized clothes to conceal it from my parents. Before long, rumours about me being pregnant started spreading. One day my stepmom confronted me about it and I had to confess.

I had nowhere to go

She and my dad were extremely angry with me. They threw me out and told me never to go back. I tried pleading with them for forgiveness but they were done. I will never forget the amount of dread I felt when I stepped out of their house. I didn’t have anything on me other than the clothes on my body. Nothing. No money; no food.

With nowhere to go, I went to my friend and begged her to let me stay in her house as I tried to figure out my life and next steps. She opened her doors for me and after three months I gave birth to my son.

I owe my son a better life

I have been living with my friend since then and selling rice bread for survival. Madam K teaches and mentors me but I would love to go to school so that I can get an education and become a journalist.

I also want to move out of my friend’s house because I feel like she has done enough for my son and I but I don’t have the resources to do that at the moment. My son will be turning three this October so I owe him a better life and want him to have a better life. I tried reaching out to my parents but they still don’t want anything to do with my son and I.

The government won’t let me go to school

I hope that you can help me because school girls who get pregnant are not allowed to go to school in Sierra Leone. That makes me very sad. It breaks my heart to see some of my peers and former schoolmates proceed with their education yet I can’t because the government won’t let me. Some of my peers are in college now and others work for different organizations. But where am I now? I don’t have anyone who can help me to go back to school and I really want to go back to school because it will help me secure my son’s future. Maybe it will also help me to reconcile with my parents because I miss them.

For now, though, my focus is on making the best out of what I have now and to keep the faith in my desire to go back to school.

I promise, that if you support me, I’ll work very hard and become somebody in the future. I promise.

UPDATE: In March 2020, Sierra Leone lifted the ban on pregnant girls attending school.