Allen has one sister and one brother. Her father died in a road accident. She lives with her mother and her siblings in a one roomed house. Allen’s mother runs a small and run-down kiosk just outside their house, selling a few assortment of fruits.
Allen is a brainy girl, at 9 years she is already in primary five. Her best subject is science and she envisions becoming a doctor in future. Back at home, she helps out her mother by attending to the kiosk as well as fetching water for home use.
Having Allen in school will not only help to brighten her future as well as enabling her achieve her dream of becoming a doctor, it will also help her escape the scorching effects of child marriage; a practice that is so common in many African countries. In areas where child marriages is rampant, poor families like Allen’s with little money even for food and basic necessities, marrying their daughter early is an economic survival strategy: it means one less mouth to feed and one less child to educate. In a context of limited economic resources and opportunities, girls are often seen as economic assets whose marriages provide cattle, other animals, money, and gifts which come in form of bride price.