Saturday, 10 September 2011

I wish I was a girl!

Alhaji Mansaray is a lovely, kind man
who welcomes the various children that arrive in Maronka
 and is key to the success of the developments that take place there.
'I wish I was a girl,' says Alhaji, the chief's brother, when he sees me unpacking nice things for the Girls' House in Maronka.  And indeed, there is some lovely stuff - various friends have donated pretty solar lights, pretty knickers, some lovely books, material for little sheet sleeping bags, nice soaps and stationery and so on and so on.

'Everything is for the girls now,' he says.

'We are trying to reduce the gap that has existed for centuries and generations,' I say.

We spend a few minutes talking about the comparison between men and women in Sierra Leonean society, how from the day they are born, girls are on the back foot and suddenly the light dawns......

'You see that man over there,' he points.  'When his wife had a baby girl the other day, he refused to see her.  He says that his wife can keep her.  He says he will wait until she has a boy.'

'What do you think it is like for a girl to be brought up from day one, knowing that she is a disappointment and not wanted?'

'I think I understand,' says Alhaji.

If you are interested in knowing more about EducAid's work with vulnerable young Sierra Leoneans, please go to and

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