Age: 18 years old
Alhaji is an orphan. His parents died many years ago during the Sierra Leonean civil war. He now lives in a room with other orphans.
Alhaji is unlike most students we met in Freetown; he is determined, resilient, resourceful and innovative. He sells plastics on the streets of Freetown and uses the money he earns from that venture to pay for school, buy uniforms, clothes, shoes, and food. He goes to school in the mornings and sells plastic at night.
He wants to be an accountant so that he can earn a good living and help the people that have become his adopted family: the other orphans he shares a room with.
Isathu S. Koroma
Age: 19 years old
Isatu lives with her aunt in Portee. Some years, when her aunt is unable to pay her school fees she has to sell produce on the streets of Freetown to earn money for her school fees.
She wants to be a nurse when she is finished with her schooling. When asked why she wants to be a nurse, she stated, "Most people in this community, and in this country, want to go to the hospital when they are sick but they do not go because they cannot afford it. I am sympathetic to them and want to help them by helping to create a free clinic for them."
Age: 12 years old
Saidu lives with his aunt and older brother. He likes to read and watch television programs such as sports, comedy, and documentaries. His favorite sports are football (soccer) and volleyball. He speaks three languages. He describes himself as "a very peaceful and calm young man".
Age: 13 years old
Martha currently lives with her aunt. Her father died a few years ago and her mother is currently in the village to receive traditional treatment for an illness.
Martha hopes to become a bank manager so she can earn enough money to take care of her ill mother. She started, "Ever since our father died, my mother has sacrificed a lot to take care of us and to ensure that we continue our education. Now that she is sick, I have no one to pay for my education and I have had to sell on the market to pay my school fees."
Gibrilla "Gibo" Bangura
Age: 16 years old
Gibrilla’s father is a farmer and his mother is a small-scale local fish trader. He has 25 brothers and sisters, although some are from a different mother. He is quiet young man who enjoys the company of his family and friends. He likes to read and play sports.
Age: 18 years old
Mamie attends Evangelical High School, a school located high up in the Freetown mountains with breathe taking views. She started her final year in high school this September.
She wants to study accounting in college. When asked why she chose accounting she stated, "Because accounting offers a good pay and provides me with an opportunity to be someone important while, also, making me a crucial member in my family and in the community."