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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Escape (01/02/06)

By Maria Catterick


My name is Grace and I am 7 years old. I am small for my age. I came to live at house number 6 three years ago. I was found in a village a few miles from here. I was starving and could not move. I had been left behind when bad army men had destroyed our village. Someone with a Red Cross on their arm found me. I donít know who they were. Donít you think it was so kind of them to come and look for me, so I didnít die? We donít know what happened to my family. We donít even know my real name. Someone here said I was full of grace so that was how I got my name. I like it but sometimes wonder what my parents named me. They werenít sure whether I would live but they took good care of me and I got stronger each day. There was a kind lady who looked after me. She didnít speak my language and didnít look like me but I knew she loved me. She would sit in the chair next to my bed, hold me on her knee, and sing to me. She stroked my hair and gave me hugs and kisses. She made me feel safe. She stopped me feeling scared and all alone. She gave me a rag doll of my very own too. One day she left. She was a volunteer someone said. She could only stay a few months. I hope she is ok. I wonder if I will see her again one day?

When I grew healthy, I was moved into house number 6. I live here with 30 other children. None of us have families. I have lots of friends and we play together and have fun. I am happy, as I am never hungry any more. My belly is not so big now. I used to worry in case they ran out of food but I get rice every day. I smile lots because I know I am lucky. I get to go to school for 3 hours a day and my teacher tells me I am a good learner. I donít know whether my family were good learners but my teacher says if my parents could see me now they would be proud of me.

One day I hope to work in this orphanage. Some of the big children say they canít wait to escape here when they are big. But I hear stories about other children who get hurt and starve to death. I want to rescue them just like I was rescued. I know how afraid they are. They think no one will love them because they are not in a real family.

I hope you can read my writing. I am glad you have decided to sponsor me. You are giving me a happy future and I will be able to bring happiness to other children. I hope that I make you feel proud of me. Please tell your friends to do child sponsorship too so that other children in my orphanage will feel safe and loved just like me.

Love from your special girl, Grace.

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This article has been read 652 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Jan Ackerson 01/09/06
You did a wonderful job of capturing Grace's childlike voice.
Grace Sempa01/09/06
Gripping.I started reading loudly,but towards the end I had become silent...with tears.
Karen Heslink01/09/06
A very touching story. You have a writing style that pulls the reader right in. The ending made me wonder if this is a real child that you or someone you know sponsors. If not, you certainly made me feel like you know Grace somehow. Well done!
Andria Cook01/10/06
This piece was well thought out and well written. Good writing leaves you unable to distinguish the story from fiction or nonfiction. You have accomplished that! Great job!
Gabrielle Morgan01/10/06
Well done! This piece rang true to me. The simplicity of the child's voice held impact.
Amy Michelle Wiley 01/11/06
What a charming perspective for this topic. Wonderful job!
Alexandra Wilkin01/13/06
You have captured the childs voice well and delivered an expressive and touching piece. Nicely done. God bless