Isatu’s Story

“It is important to learn as it helps to change your behaviour to help yourself and those around you and your community.”

Education has the power to give girls the freedom to build their own futures. 

Isatu has always been fully aware of this. She lives in the Rokulan community, in the Bombali District of Sierra Leone.

Challenging a male-dominated community.

“Teenage pregnancy has been a barrier to the development of young people, especially girls in my community.”  

Isatu says this is due to beliefs in her community that girls shouldn’t go to school but should get married instead.

Isatu, like many other girls in Sierra Leone, was denied rights to equal opportunities and education due to discrimination and traditions in her male-dominated community.

In rural areas in Sierra Leone, one in three girls falls pregnant before the age of 19.*

“But with the intervention of Restless Development, we saw a shift in behaviour from some of our people.”

“I was able to motivate other girls to join the club.”

“I learned a lot from being part of the Restless Development Girls Club, from organising our girls’ club meetings to being outspoken. They taught me about hygiene and sanitation, how to stay away from teenage pregnancy, and we were also taught some business skills.”

Isatu in her classroom.

Isatu also learned reading and writing, attended inspirational talks, and received educational mentorship and coaching support every week.

By gaining skills and confidence from the club, Isatu became president of the Girls Club, and began to support other girls.

“I was able to motivate other girls to join the club – [including] out-of-school girls who had dropped out of school. Some are even preparing now to enter university, like my friend Juliet.”  


Isatu found great inspiration from the volunteers who were part of the Girls Club.

“I looked up so much to Matilda [a Restless Development volunteer] in many ways, be it her intelligence or her enthusiasm in supporting young people to make the best out of their lives for their development and their communities.”

“I want to be part of the generation that will usher in a new Sierra Leone.” 

Isatu’s experience with the Restless Development Girls Club gave her the confidence and inspiration to seek out further education.

“{I was} motivated by the Restless Development volunteers to go to university. I admired their intelligence and their commitment to their work in the community. So I always looked up to them and said to myself that one day I will be like them or even more than them and today see where I am. All of this happened because of their support.”

She now studies Government and History with the goal of becoming a politician when she completes her degree.

Isatu at her university.

“I want to be part of the generation that will usher in a new Sierra Leone. One that will work for all of us in this country, and not just for the few who are at the helm of affairs. I would also inspire other women to say what a man can do, a woman can do it as well, maybe even better.”

Being in the university is the best thing that has ever happened to me. I would say my life is on the right track of making the best out of me.


The power of education can be life-changing. When girls stay in school, when their right to their education is fulfilled, they can determine their own future on their terms.

Make an impact.

£50 could support one young volunteer to mentor hundreds of young girls like Isatu every month with skills in literacy, numeracy and business.