When I was growing up my late parents struggled so much. They tried to help other people. One thing my mum told me ‘you have to work for other people and you have to have passion’.
During the civil war my brother was killed in front of me, and my parents ran into the bush but they died on the road. They were old. I walked for 40 miles on foot and then went to Freetown.
I dropped out of school for two years because my parents had died. I couldn’t afford an education and my uncle was a poor man. When I came to Freetown a businessman picked me up. He treated me very badly but my focus was on having food to eat. One day I told a lady about how I was being treated so she took me in as a servant and she sent me to school. I lived with her for 10 years and helped with her 10 children.
This grew my passion for helping children. I wanted to go to college. I took an exam. I had to drop out in first year because I didn’t have enough money. Then my boss at my shop job helped me get a scholarship so I went to Foubay College (University of SL).
I came out to no job, then I became a reporter at democratic newspaper, then worked for Hope Sierra Leone (an NGO).
I joined Street Child as a social worker for 250 beneficiaries. I worked in Kambia until Ebola. Then I became head of this new UNICEF work in Pujehun.
I have passion for my job. It’s a calling, working for children is a blessing and a sacrifice. You see the children have potential, you can learn from them. If you help a child to be somebody, that’s so good. It’s not about money, it’s a sacrificial job.
Each community is different and has different challenges. Each child has a different story and different challenges and every child has potential.
Children have a coping mechanism that is better than an adult’s. Having two children as a child and still going to school; or supporting themselves through school; I have a torn tattered uniform, but I will do it. Their strength gives us strength.
At the office on t
- Musa Swarby - Project Leader - Street Child Pujehun-22.jpg
- Chris Parkes
- Image Size
- 6016x4016 / 24.7MB
- Contained in galleries