Esi Donkor, 29 - Ghana

“Lost my family years ago, but found so many wonderful friends along the way."

"Growing up in Ghana has bittersweet memories for me. I lost my parents in a terrible accident when I was 10 years old and went to live with my aunt. She was very kind, but a little distant. She was a single lady, so wasn’t used to looking after boisterous girls. So I turned to my friends for love and affection: one in particular, my very best friend, Marie. 

I used to go to hers after school. We’d do homework together. Then afterwards we’d dance and sing in her garden, pretending we were the latest girl band. We’d make her Mum sit and watch us and be our audience. She was a good sport. Some weekends I would stay over and her Mum would cook us the most delicious meals. We went through everything together growing up – exams, boyfriends, heart break and looking for work.

I decided to come to London to study when I was about 20. After my studies I found a wonderful job in HR. It’s a peopIe job and I just love people. I made some great friends at college and work. I always long for the weekend when we can all meet up and catch up on the chat and gossip. When the weather’s good we often have long leisurely picnics in one of London’s many beautiful parks. But, of all the new friends I’ve made, I never ever forget Marie. I’m so excited as she’s coming to stay with me later in the year. I’ve sent her the money for the airfare, as it’s a bit expensive for her. But it’s the least I can do after all the happy times I shared with her as a child.”

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