Happiness in 2017, Photo by Paul Joyson-Hicks
Happiness with her stepmother and siblings in 2016

Happiness

Age: 15                                           
Birthday: February 18, 2002
Home Place: Kwa Shabani
School: Henry Gogarty Secondary School, Form 1 (grade 8)
 
 
Happy is engaging and overwhelmingly curious. She can’t help asking questions all of the time. She has a sweet disposition which compliments her intellectual excitement. After her first semester at Henry Gogarty, Happy was ranked # 1 student with all A’s out of 129 students in Form 1.
 
Happy doesn’t know if her mother is alive or not. When Happy was 9 years old, her mother became ill and her father didn’t seek any treatment for her. Happy’s mother left to return to her family in Morogoro, leaving Happy and her 2 younger sisters to live with their father. He has since remarried and now has two sons with Happy’s stepmother. Happy and her sisters live with her father, stepmother and step siblings in one room they rent in a rural area. Her father has been out of work for as long as she can remember. Her stepmother mends plastic flip-flops.
 
Before Happy’s mother became ill, Happy had been enrolled in a private primary school. At the time her father was a teacher at an agriculture school in Moshi. However, he was laid off when they reduced staff, and he struggled to pay school fees for Happy. The Headmistress of Happy’s school stepped in and helped to pay school fees because Happy was her most promising student.
 
Happy is animated and energetic. She’s always one of the first students to volunteer to help with activities at The Girls Center and does so with a smile and a bounce in her step. When she grows up she wants to be a pilot or a doctor or an engineer. For Happy- the sky is the limit!