My name is Kumba Kondeh, I come from Freetown, Sierra Leone Africa. I live with my family, I have two sisters, but during the war I lost my parents. My life in Sierra Leone was very hard for me and my family because my mother had no money to pay our school fees. So we studied at home without going to school. It was not simple for us.
In January 1999 the rebels attacked the city all over. I was fours years old. The next day they came to our street shouting ‘Mr and Mrs Kondeh!’ My father and mother went outside and my father said ‘Don’t go outsde. Stay here!’ We hid under the bed. The rebel’s leader asked my father for money. My father said ‘There is no money here.’ The rebel’s leader said ‘If there is no money we are going to shoot you and your wife.’ He pointed the gun at my father and shot him. Then he shot my mother. When they went to the next street my mother’s sister came and took us away. We were crying because we had lost both of our parents.
My mother’s sister took us to the Red Cross and they helped us to travel to another country by boat. We took two days in the sea without food or water. My Auntie looked after us and her daughter helped us come to Australia. I was so happy, but sad because we had lost our parents during the war. I always think about the past and the way we suffered. I say ‘Thank you.’ to my Auntie and her daughter for what they have done for me and my sister. I want to do the best that I can to repay them and to make them proud of us.