"When I refused to marry, my brother said I had to stop school"

Every day, 39,000 girls are married before they turn 18. Regina (15) from Sierra Leone is desperate to remain in school, but faces extreme obstacles that could threaten her future.

I just sat my year exams but failed one of the subjects. The principal of the school called my brother – I live with him – and said I have to re-sit the exams and so he should come and sign for me to re-sit them. My brother didn’t want to. He said that there were two men who are interested in marrying me but I said I wasn’t interested.

I don’t know how old these men are but I fear they are much older. I am scared that I will be forced to marry one of them.

When I refused to get married, my brother said I had to stop going to school and work on the farm instead. He threw me out of the house so I’ve come to stay with my aunt. She asked my brother to pay for the exams but again he refused. So the principal is paying for my fees.

My dad was killed in the war. My mum lives in the village but she’s really old so my brother looks after me. My aunt is supporting me – she agrees I’m too young to get married, but she can’t pay for my school fees.

I come from a poor background and I want to get my family out of poverty so when I leave school, I want to be President of Sierra Leone.

My brother isn’t talking to me at the moment – other family elders are talking to him to try and get him to understand. He’s 50 and works as a farmer – we had the same father but different mothers. I don’t want to get married but I don’t know how long the principal will keep paying for my fees.

I am determined to stay in school, finish my education and avoid forced marriage but I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to resist….

"Thanks to Plan International's Micro-Credit scheme, now I can afford to send my children to school"

Birth Certificate Saves Young Girl from Child Marriage

From Downton Abbey
to downtown Dakar



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