My name is Moses Johnson and I am 16 years old. I was born in Liberia Africa and I lived with my mom, my father, grandma and three brothers and five sisters. I lived there until I was nine years old. In the village where I lived, my father cut rice and farmed to feed us.
Our family left in the middle of the night because the rebels owned the streets and they would kill us. When the rebels came to my village, everybody ran. Lots of people were killed, and their children got killed because they had to leave them. We left Liberia because of the war and because the rebels came with guns and were shooting everyone.
When we running away from the rebels in the middle of the night and saw dead people, and people who were burned. It took us days to get from our village to another city. When we arrived at another city, a family helped us and we stayed at their house. Their house was made of mud and concrete. The next day our family left to walk to the Ivory Coast.
We went to Monrovia then Cote D’Ivoire and lived there for three years in a camp. Each family got one room that was about 12 feet by 14 feet for twelve people. My sister couldn’t be with us because she was too old. She was older and had to be with her daughter. She was in her twenties and had a daughter who was four years. We were given food to eat, like chicken every two weeks they would bring rice. We would cook inside the fence. The fence was around the camp.
At the camp they had lists for immigration and they ask questions and didn’t believe my mom had so many kids. My mom had a baby while we were living in the camp. We left the camp when the baby was 9 months old. When they said we could go they took us in a van to the airplane. Mom and all my sisters and brothers were on the plane. I was 12 when we came to Portland. We found a place to live and I started school.
I came to Focus on Youth and learned to take photographs and edit them on the computer. The best thing about Focus on Youth is going on field trips. I like the mentors and I like taking photographs of my friends. My cousin Sitta, took a photo of me doing a cartwheel at Washington Park that I like. My favorite photograph is of a fountain at the park and it has been in some photography exhibits.