We were all children - Eddie
Our community events and fundraising manager talks about his experience growing up and the people who were there for him
We recently launched a campaign called 'We were all Children' which among other things allows us to share stories about the role that trustworthy adults played in our lives as kids and then imagine what it must be like for street children who may have nobody to turn to. This is my story.
I lost my father when I was 8. We then moved from Singapore to England where I was promptly put into a boarding school because this was what Dad would have wanted. It was so scary as mass bullying and severe beatings were a daily occurrence. But what was far worse was being away from my family and feeling all alone in a strange country and needing to somehow adapt simply to survive. As I was so unhappy my Mum pulled me out school after just one term but then sent me back as Dad wouldn’t have wanted us to simply give up when the going got tough.
Over time things improved. You learnt how to play the system and how to fight back. You found teachers that you could trust and rely on. In my case it was Oliver, then an 18 year-old in his gap year who was like a big brother, and who brought some normality to our lives. I fondly remember him ending lessons early and treating us to stories of Ancient Greek Myths and Legends. Today Oliver is a Benedictine monk that I am still in touch with. Crucially you made new friends so you no longer felt quite so lonely, and had someone always covering your back. These friends became my family and 50 years on many remain close because we shared difficult years together as we grew up.
I certainly left school a stronger man which is exactly what Dad would have wanted. However, my heartfelt regret is that he was not around to see it.