15 year old Tirualem Temesgen ran away from home, which was in Bibugan woreda (district), East Gojam zone, to escape the pressure of child marriage. Her father wanted her to marry another priest, like him, which was unacceptable to her. “I wanted to go to school, so I said no and left home,” she explains. She is now hired in a small tea shop in her village. She lives there, and her employer lets her go to school most of the time except when her employer cannot be there.
According to Tirualem, her mother and other family members visit her every Saturday pleading with her to come back home. But Tirualem knows what will await her if she goes back home -more pressure from her father to get married. So she has no intention of going back unless he promises that he will not force her to marry. Tirualem is now in the 6th grade, and her dream is to complete her schooling and become an independent and educated working woman.