"Education is more than silver and gold"
Baindu doing family laundry in Pujehun District August 2020. Photo credit: Rose Massaquoi MoPADA
As a 17-year-old mother, Baindu* thought her life was over when the father of her child denied the pregnancy. Since enrolling in the Right to Be a Girl project, she has managed to start working toward her dreams again.
When Baindu was 15 her parents sent her to live in Pujehun town with her uncle, the closet community with a secondary school. Her parents did not have a lot of money to support her basic needs, so she began seeing a man to give her money for lunch and clothing.
She soon fell pregnant and was sent back to her parents in Malema community.
“My pregnancy was a big shame to my family. Here I was doing so well then, I messed it all up. I started worrying how my father would cope. He was a poor farmer who was making ends meet with what he harvested from his small farm. Now I was adding more pressure by adding an extra mouth to feed.”
Baindu heard about the Right to be a Girl project through other girls in Malema and spoke with a member of staff from MoPADA, a local NGO working with Save the Children. She was enrolled at the safe space where she started attending meetings with other girls.
Over the past three years, the Right to be a Girl project has been supporting over 1000 adolescent mothers in hard to reach vulnerable communities to go back to school or learn skills for economic empowerment.
As a beneficiary of the project Baindu feels she has been given another chance to realise her dream which is to become a lawyer. She is now in senior secondary school and taking her WASSCE exams. Now Baindu is looking to the future.
“I thank God for the Right to be a Girl project from Save the Children and MoPADA in our village. They helped me go back to school. Now I realise that education is more than silver and gold. I feel I am closer to my dream of becoming a lawyer. I will not make the same mistake and I plan to do whatever it takes to get the best out of life especially now that I have a little one depending on me.”
Note: Baindu is not her real name