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Pujehun: GATE project (Girls Access to Education)

Joint project between UNICEF and SL govt. SC delivering it. Working with 400 of the most vulnerable and marginalised girls in the district.

Emma, 17 years old

Emma is a beneficiary of GATE but is also one of GATE’s peer mentors. She was selected by her classmates as someone they look up to and respect, which is how she became a peer mentor for other girls.

Favourite film: Bollywood
Fave music: Starzy and MIC (Sierra Leonean artists)
Fave actress: Marcy Johnson (Nigerian)
Fave subject: Maths - because the teacher is great and makes it really interesting, and also because she's really good at it.

She said:

I have two desires in my heart - to be a doctor or to be a bank manager. I want to be a doctor because there is no medical care in our community at the moment and I want to solve that. The nearest hospital is 12 miles. If I’m not a doctor I want to be a bank manager, to be somebody and have money fast so that I can help my mother who is suffering.

My parents split up when I was small, my mum moved to Pujehun and my dad lived in Guinea. My dad wanted me to stay with him, but then he died when I was little so I grew up with my poor grandmother in Guinea. No-one cared for me so I dropped out of school. I got a job in catering but my colleague got me pregnant, I was only 16 and was really struggling. Whilst I was pregnant I went back to Pujehun to find my mum to see if she could help me. Everything was very hard, then I gave birth to my baby boy called Sheku. My mum is poor and works in the bush, farming. We are three girls and a boy and she couldn’t afford all our school fees and food. Sometimes we don’t have food. Mainly we eat yams that we find in the bush, we rarely get to eat rice but that’s my favourite - if I could eat anything I would have Jollof rice. I hoped my mum would send me to school but she said no - she told me that I was the last who would be helped to school because I’d lived with

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Emma Suma - Student and Mentor - GATE Project - Pujehun-16.jpg
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Chris Parkes
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Pujehun: GATE project (Girls Access to Education)<br />
<br />
Joint project between UNICEF and SL govt. SC delivering it. Working with 400 of the most vulnerable and marginalised girls in the district.<br />
<br />
Emma, 17 years old<br />
<br />
Emma is a beneficiary of GATE but is also one of GATE’s peer mentors. She was selected by her classmates as someone they look up to and respect, which is how she became a peer mentor for other girls.<br />
<br />
Favourite film: Bollywood<br />
Fave music: Starzy and MIC (Sierra Leonean artists)<br />
Fave actress: Marcy Johnson (Nigerian)<br />
Fave subject: Maths - because the teacher is great and makes it really interesting, and also because she's really good at it.<br />
<br />
She said:<br />
<br />
I have two desires in my heart - to be a doctor or to be a bank manager. I want to be a doctor because there is no medical care in our community at the moment and I want to solve that. The nearest hospital is 12 miles. If I’m not a doctor I want to be a bank manager, to be somebody and have money fast so that I can help my mother who is suffering. <br />
<br />
My parents split up when I was small, my mum moved to Pujehun and my dad lived in Guinea. My dad wanted me to stay with him, but then he died when I was little so I grew up with my poor grandmother in Guinea. No-one cared for me so I dropped out of school. I got a job in catering but my colleague got me pregnant, I was only 16 and was really struggling.  Whilst I was pregnant I went back to Pujehun to find my mum to see if she could help me. Everything was very hard, then I gave birth to my baby boy called Sheku. My mum is poor and works in the bush, farming. We are three girls and a boy and she couldn’t afford all our school fees and food. Sometimes we don’t have food. Mainly we eat yams that we find in the bush, we rarely get to eat rice but that’s my favourite - if I could eat anything I would have Jollof rice. I hoped my mum would send me to school but she said no - she told me that I was the last who would be helped to school because I’d lived with