Ed Sheeran was ‘shocked and appalled’ by the conditions he saw people living in during his visit to Liberia for Comic Relief, and even gave a young homeless boy, called JD, money out of his own pocket to help him get by.
Heartbreakingly, JD’s ambition was to become president so that he could help those in his community – yet almost every night JD, like many other Liberian children, was being raped by older boys in the neighbourhood.
Comic Relief confirmed that JD and his friends were safe after Ed left, but now the young orphan has spoken out about how his life has transformed and he is so grateful.
Speaking to Mail Online, JD said:
It feels nice to know that people who don’t know me still care about me. I feel happy about that.
If I had not met Street Child and Ed, I would still be on the streets and sleeping in canoes on the beach. I wouldn’t have anyone to care for me. The beach at night can be a dangerous place.
One bad thing about living on the streets was that other boys would sometimes wake you up in the night and beat you hard just to take anything you had. Sometimes they took money if I had any, or they took my clothes. This made me feel very bad and scared at night.
When Ed was about to leave Liberia, he expressed that he didn’t feel right leaving the boys, and said ‘the only thing you can do is help them, which we should’.
My natural instinct is to just put them in a car and just take them and just put them in a hotel until we can get them sorted.
Can I pay to put them in a house until we get them in a school?
It doesn’t matter how much it costs can we just get him and his five mates in a house with an older person to look after them?
I don’t think we can go until that’s sorted.
JD is now settled in a new home with his four closes friends and new mother, a caregiver who Street Child arranged to look after the boys, after his family died following the Ebola outbreak in West Africa.
He is ‘not afraid’ anymore and is happy to be staying with ‘Ma’ and going to school soon to start his journey to becoming President.
Since 2013, Street Child has helped over 10,000 children like JD in Liberia and aim to do the same for another 5,000 after the support from Comic Relief.