14-year-old Faustina Badu and her sister Juliana both love to go to school, but to do this they have to take turns to wear the same severely patched school uniform and a pair of faded sandals.
Faustina’s two brothers, Gabriel and Nicolas – five and three years respectively – also share an oversized shirt and shorts to school every day.
The story of the Badu family is replete with moving accounts how abject poverty makes their quest for basic education difficult every step of the way.
But it is not the lack of uniforms, sandals or books that plague these four children: they are almost always also hungry while in class.
Narrating her ordeal to Joy News’ Dorcas Boadu, Faustina says their woes started after the death of their father a year ago.
Her mother, a farmer, had to go into hiding a few weeks after the death her husband because creditors kept knocking at her door.
Faustina, who is currently in JHS 1 took over the care of her three siblings, and that meant thinking like an adult.
To ensure her sister goes to school, she wears the uniform to school in the morning, her sister wears it in the afternoon.
On days that lessons drag and the teacher dismisses the class late, Faustina’s sister would already be waiting for her at the back of the school block for the uniform. They have been doing this for over a year.
Their mother, Dorcas, sneaks in at dawn to make sure her children are fine. She leaves no money – she has none – then she quickly disappears into her farm again.
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