A week in Hull, learning about Sierra Leone

Hi my name is Chelsey Turner. Iím writing this to show you my strong feelings on Africa.

I feel we are all human so why should Africans just have to live in poverty because of greed and selfishness. They shouldnít. I believe itís because of their colour.

The way they are shown on TV they just look like beggars and wanters they look like theyíve got no chance of survival.

But then Matt Stephenson and Jon Robson came to our school Winifred Holtby Technology College. Mattís a writer and Jonís a film maker. Theyíre great. They showed me the real Africa, the humans who have fun whoíve had a bad life but learnt to get on with it.

When I see the Africans on TV they just beg but when Matt and Jon went to Freetown Sierra Leone, Hullís twinned city, they brought back some images and films on how they live and that really made me want to get involved. They didnít look like beggars, they were normal happy people, and they just havenít got what weíve got. That makes me feel like wanting to donate as they arenít asking for anything showing there happy as they are. People are quick to call them racist names and call them beggars but theyíre not, theyíre just humans like us. Just because theyíre a different colour doesnít mean nothing. Theyíve been held back by their governmentís greed greed greed.

Why canít the bigger countries donate directly to the people? Theyíve got pride, they donít just need money, and even them just having links to people like us helps them feel more involved in the world. By communicating with them you can show them that you can sympathise and understand their position. I used to think that they were just beggars and it was their own fault, but it isnít. Money is a big problem. We need to help them.

Education is a big thing in England. You donít have to pay for it. If your parents donít work you get free dinners and the parents still get dole money that they need to buy clothes, food, gas, electric, but I think people here still feel like they have no money and are skint, but people in Africa donít have clean water, electric, gas,, nice roof over there head, money, dole, clean clothes, shoes, nice fancy schools, well one where there kids can get a really good education, but we do. So if we do why donít they? Because of their government, because of their colour, I donít know itís not their fault. Their country may need to be more organised with money, more nice places to live, more places to go, and more jobs.

We have 3 meals a day, snacks and other treats, ice cream, chocolate, goodies. For what we have in one day theyíd be grateful for that in a week. When you get hungry you can go straight to the fridge or freezer a grab what you want but over there they are lucky to have a fridge.

The civil war in Africa has left children with bad memories. For what theyíve been through in one week, weíve never been through, in a lifetime. Theyíve been named child soldiers, the younger soldiers that is. Iíve learnt to not judge them by what I used to see on the TV Iíve seen the real Africa.

Why does everyone think that they only want money? They are human as well. And as soon as the world realises that the better, as they canít carry on living the way they are. Itís not acceptable theyíre living in sheds, no clean water, the heat out there may be really hot as well – why do we have all this and they have nothing?