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"Kadiatu Junisa" by Jeff Hall







In 2007, Kadiatu was 15 years old and living in the village of Jokibu, the youngest of eight children in her family. Her father is Junisa Gbewa and her mother Kadi Gbewa.  (Children in Sierra Leone use their fatherís first name as their family or last name.)  Kadiatuís father has two other wives, and this is not uncommon for Muslims in Africa.  Farm families need lots of help to grow food so more wives and children mean more help on the farm.


In 2007, Kadiatu was the only child in her family attending school.  Her older brothers and sisters were already married (girls get married at age 15) with children.  Once you have children, you must work hard on the farm to grow food for them, leaving little time for education.


Kadiatuís favorite part of school when she was in junior high was learning to read.  She loves to read, but she in junior high she did not have any books of her own.  She first completed primary school in Jokibu, which is free, and next, thanks to a OneVillage scholarship or $30, she attended junior high.  All students in her village had to pay money to attend junior high and high school.  Her junior high--called "Methodist Secondary School" in the town of Bunumbu--is a 3 mile, 45-minute walk from her parents' home, and she made the trip back and forth each day. 


Sadly, Kadiatuís mother died in 1996 during the civil war in Sierra Leone.  Her mother was pregnant when rebels attacked the village in the 1990s civil war.  She ran away to hide in the rain forest, but soon became ill and died from a fever.


Kadiatuís dream when she was in junior high was to stay in school, learn to read and write, and become a nurse.  Girls who can stay in school can delay getting married until she they are older.  In junior high, it was Kadiatu's dream that once she would become a nurse, she would get married and have two children.  She was very grateful for her junior high scholarship.
Kadiatu or her friends: where is Kadiatu now, and what is she doing?  Please email
Richard Jewell and let him know!



Most recent revision of this page: 25 July 2010

First publication of Web site as, 15 Aug. 2005; as, 15 June 2010.

Written content & page design unless otherwise noted: Richard Jewell.

Photos unless otherwise noted are © 2004-10 by R. Jewell and other members of OneVillage Partners. 

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Questions, suggestions, comments, & requests for site links: Contact Richard Jewell.
This web site is an educational site for the benefit of the students of Inver Hills College and other students everywhere.


Sierra Leone ŗ//