Lucas Rossen, Grade 9
My name is Jafaru and this is my story. I was born 15 years ago in a small African village situated in central Africa. Well at least I think I was. I can’t remember much of my early childhood because you see, the thing is I am an orphan. When I was two years old my parents tragically died from a mystery illness, or so I was told, which resulted in me being sent to a low class orphanage ran by nuns in Kenya. I spent the next few weeks settling into the home as it was a huge change for me!
After the first month or so, I had got to know most of the carers and children in the orphanage. I made a few friends but one in particular, Ajani. Ajani and I would spend all day playing outside with the few toys we had to share until it was time for bed. We were like brothers! I distinctively remember one day we both decided to play a trick on one of the sisters. We were later caught that day and were ordered to sit in the corner and recite the 27 orphanage rules over and over again as our punishment. Although, as typical four year old boys, we didn’t take our punishment seriously, so the very next day we were sent straight back to the corner to again recited the 27 rules over again until we had leant our lesson. We soon learnt that these ladies were definitely not amused. They all meant business!
Several months had passed with Ajani and I happily playing together, whilst we began to wonder if we would ever have a Mummy or Daddy again. Like me, Ajani’s parents had also been very sick and contracted multiple diseases, so we understood that both his and my parent were gone. Later that week the sisters called us into the meeting room where they informed us that we may be adopted by families visiting the orphanage the following day. They explained to the younger children, including me what this meant and in excitement we all jumped up and down, making the unstable building tremble. Neither Ajani nor I could believe that our wish may come true at last!
The next morning had arrived, I ran out of the small room that I shared with 10 others approximately my age, down the hallway and into the dinning room where the sisters and a small number of other children sat on the floor anxiously as I joined them. One of the ladies dressed from head to toe in her black and white gown approached me and handed to me a pair of shoes, shorts and a white shirt and told me to get changed into the garments. I did as she directed and stepped back into the room with the clothes hanging from my emaciated body where someone began to brush my hair and another straightened my clothes. I was told not to go outside or get the outfit dirty as the families were going to arrive shortly.
While we all stood in a straight line, the sisters came up to each of us and gave the biggest hug we had ever received, before neatening our clothing one last time. I stood in anticipation as I watched the door knob gradually turn clockwise as the door swung open. I directed my eyes to Ajani before focusing back towards the door as I watched a neatly dressed figure enter the room followed by many others of all different colour, shape and size. They stood in individual groups with their families whilst one of the sisters welcomed them to the home. I was standing with Ajani on one side of me and another of my friends on the other as I locked eyes with a young woman with chestnut coloured hair, friendly smile and stunning eyes standing next to a man and two young children, all dressed in nice clothes. She began to walk towards me as her shoes tapped against the wooden flooring, stopped and bent down to my level. She introduced herself and her family as I smiled back at her. I told her my name with the little English I knew and gave each of the considerate family members a hug. I felt a feeling that I hadn’t felt for a very long time. At that moment forth, I knew this family was one I wanted to be a part of!
I am now 15 years old and live in London, England with my family the Scott’s in our countryside home. When I first arrived in England I was shocked and overwhelmed by the level of civilization. For the first five years of my life I had never imagined that I would ever depart from Africa, but now I am living in a whole different continent! I currently attend Year 10 at London Senior Academy where I have equipped the essential Literacy, Mathematical and Scientific knowledge used for everyday use. My English teacher had informed my parents that I have a natural gift towards writing, in which has given me motivation to write this book. As for Ajani, he was adopted 12 months prior to me leaving and is now living in Australia with his family of five. He is having a great time there and we talk regularly. As I said earlier, we are basically brothers!
Since completing this book 10 months ago, Jafaru was offered to have his story published by a renowned British Publishing Company. Within a month, the book had hit the shelves world wide, with it soon becoming a best seller. Jafaru kindly donated all the proceeds to where he owed his life, The Kenyan Orphanage. He is now is an ambassador for all African Orphanages world wide.
I would like to thank everyone who has helped me in making this book possible, especially my amazing family and friends. Your time and effort is greatly appreciated and I thankyou from the bottom of my heart. Just remember, family and friends are the greatest asset you will ever possess.