As an abandoned child, on the streets at 14/15, Christiana* dropped out of school and began selling food on the street in order to survive. She then attracted the attention of a much older man who offered her a way off the street by proposing marriage. She didnât want to marry him, but her relatives pressured her until she agreed. He was violent towards her and eventually beat her so badly a cousin came and rescued her.
âAll the women in our family have been initiated. They were preparing me for marriage. The man who wanted to marry me told my family to initiate me into the secret society. I was not pleased about that because my granny, who raised me, was not around. When we went there I was so afraid. I almost fainted in the process. It was really painful, that was why I was so afraid.â
Desperate to return to school, Christiana sold her phone to raise the money for one term. She now lives with a female teacher from the school, who is also in charge of Planâs Girl Power project in her school. The Paramount Chief sponsored some of her school fees but hasnât paid for her 2nd or 3rd term yet. Right now no-one is paying her school fees. Christiana was recently voted as President of the girlsâ group and wants to be a nurse.