Friday, March 18, 2016

1 The Magnificent House and other stories

Drawings by Eritrean refugee children from Aaidun and Nidal Elementary in Kassala, South East Sudan, with accompanying stories written by children of Flemington Primary School, Melbourne Australia.

To learn more about Eritrean Australian Humanitarian Aid (EAHA)  and how you can help refugee children in Sudan through education, visit or email


The Magnificent House
One night there lived a girl.  Her name was Bella, aged nine years old.  Her favourite thing to do was drawing very big houses with lots of detail and colour.  Bella loved drawing plants like sunflowers, roses and daisies.  One day Bella and her parents went on an adventure all around their home town.  Suddenly her parents spotted a wonderfully amazing home with lots of detail and plants.  Bella was so excited because she had never seen such a magnificent house in all her life.  When Bella went home she drew the house but she put in lots more detail and colour.  After that she had to stop because she had to go to her Aunty’s place. When she got there she had a massive big surprise.  They had bought her a puppy.


There was a beach with Poti fish
There were kids
going round, the sun was growing
There were trees waving around. 
The sand was smooth. 

The Faraway Land
One fine summer morning there was a boy named Mahdi and a man named Angus.  Angus lived on a faraway island in a small house by himself. 
One cold morning Angus heard the cupboard open and shut and a flush of the toilet.
And said to Victoria and to TV news reporters what had happened.  Then everyone called it haunted but Mahdi did not.  He went to check it out.  He found a walky-talky toilet.  The toilet said “what’s up, want to play golf.”  So Mahdi said “why not, I want to play.”  So they became friends and Mahdi said to Angus that it was not a ghost.
Angus and the toilet became friends and they all ate KFC and got fat.
The End

The Very Bad Accident.
A long time ago there lived two sisters name Nelly and Melinie.  Nelly and Melinie go to church.  The times they go are 6.00am on Sundays.  They would also go at 7pm Wednesdays too.  If they wanted to do anything at those times they would just have to miss it.  But one day Melinie hurt her leg very badly, she couldn’t walk but it was not broken.  On Sunday Melinie couldn’t go to church, but instead of Nelly staying she still went to church.  At church the Priest asked where Melinie was.  Nelly told him what happened.  The Priest told Nelly to make up for what Melinie did.  The Priest made Melinie go to the amazing garden.  Nelly told Melinie so she went to the amazing garden.  The Priest made her promise never to not go to church.  She kept her promise.
The End

The Big Adventure The Young Boy Has
Once upon a time there was a young boy who lived in a normal house with his family.  One day there was a massive wind that blew everyone in the house away because they lived in a house made out of straw.  When the wind blew the family away they all blew different ways because they were skinny and had not eaten any food because they were poor.  When the wind stopped the young boy landed on grass.  He had no idea where he was so he got scared.  He started walking straight.  He got really tired and puffed out so he decided to have a rest so he sat down under a tree that was empty.  He was so hungry he looked up to the sky because the tree was blocking his way.  When he looked up there was a bunch of something red and really shiny.  He looked closer.  It was a bunch of really shiny red cherries.  He tried reaching the cherries, and tried again.  He got the cherries so quickly.  His tummy was full so now he continued walking.  He walked and walked until he heard a noise that sounded scary.  He was so brave, so he checked it out.  It was a scarecrow chasing Sponge Bob.
The End

The Girl That Hated Moving Houses
Once there was a girl that hated moving houses.  She was 10 years old and her name was Amy.  One day her parents had some bad news.  They said that they were going to move to Melbourne because her father had a new job.  They told her to pack all her things to get ready for tomorrow.  She said goodbye to all her friends and all her teachers.  The next morning they left with their car to Melbourne.  After they arrived Amy hated the place.  The house was ugly and the garden had too, too, too many  flowers and the flowers smelt like bees.  Amy had enough so she ran back to her old house and her parents were calling her name but Amy didn’t answer.  So her parents went looking for her.  They looked everywhere but their old house so at the end they went there to look at the old house and they found her watching TV in the old house so they lived at the old house for ever!!!
The End

The Beautiful Magical Flower
Once there was a poor princess.  The story how she became poor was a few years ago.  She left her mum and dad because they were too old to look after her and they adopted the princess to a mean family.  The mean family did not love the princess so they sent the princess outside and she found her way into the forest.  She was worried because she forgot her way out and was stuck in the middle of nowhere.  She found a place to sleep that was very uncomfortable. The next morning the princess was very tired because she had a bad sleep.

The Long Trip to the Warrior Place.
Hi I’m going to this place where warriors used to fight.  My name is Tattya.  Well I’d better be going now, bye.  I still sit in a booster seat because I am still 7.  Away we go.  It’s a very long way.  Then my Mummy gave me a map of the warrior place.  Then we finally got there.  I hopped out of the car and I see out of the corner of my eye, a canon.  I run over to the canon and I see a handle.  Oh I just can’t say what I did. I pushed the handle, and out flew the canon and it landed on my Mum’s foot.  Oh how she yelled and yelled.  I ran over to her and said, Oh are you okay? I think I need the doctor.  I got my Mum’s phone and called the doctor.  The doctor came and said it’s broken.  He turned to me and said you’d better come and sleep with me for the night.  I did, and my Mum went to hospital. The next day my mum came home and lived happily ever after.
But that did not mean the trouble had ended because soon the child that you know called Tattya went off into the forest by herself.  She should be going for a walk, but instead she walked off the path into the real forest. It was very scary in there.  I walked and walked for a vvvvveeeerrrryyyyyyyy long time. It felt like days – long, long days. Suddenly I saw a glow in the distance.  I walked towards it.  It was a really big clock.

The Poor Family
In Iraq in the desert there was a family called the Ali family.  They were very poor.  There was Mum called Aisha, a Dad called Muhamed and they had a son called Aldi.  Aldi was only ten years old.  They lived in a tiny hut that was cracked, cracked and scratched and there were no windows so they couldn’t see what was going on outside.
Aisha had just finished making dinner.  She called Muhamed and Aldi to eat.  Muhamed came but Aldi didn’t.  “Where’s Aldi?” said Aisha in a grumpy voice.  But there was no sight of Aldi.  “Do you think he ran away?” said Aisha in a sad voice.  The Mohamed saw a note stuck to the wall.  It was from Aldi, I said Dear Mum and Dad.  I have run away because there are people after me.
Aldi had run away to a bigger hut that had been abandoned and was in the middle of nowhere.  It was night and Aldi was scared.  He heard noises outside.  Aldi saw a gun and bullets.  He grabbed the gun and went outside in the cold frosty night.  He looked around and there was nothing there.  He went back to sleep and when he woke up he found himself in a car.  The car fell down a mountain but as it hit the ground, Aldi woke up.  “Oh, thank goodness it was a dream,” said Aldi.  Aldi got dressed and went and helped his Dad outside.  That’s the life of the Ali family.

All Animals Are Equal
Another boring day in the jungle.  Everybody knows cats don’t belong in the jungle.
“If only I has some friends,” I said quietly to myself.  All those stupid animals do to me is tease me.
I was getting ready for the rocks to be thrown at me by the monkeys.  Usually I was lucky and they missed but sometimes I wasn’t so lucky and they hit me.  When I approached the area they didn’t throw any rocks.  There was a human, I have only ever seen a human once.  What I think was that he was trying to save me.  Finally someone actually cared for me. 
But I will still be tortured by the annoying water hogs that chase me and shout rude comments.  But again the human was there.
So I walked up to him and asked him what his name was and thanked him.  He replied “Jake, what’s yours?” “I don’t have one” I replied. “I’ve been watching you for a long time and I don’t think you should be treated like that” Jake said. So they told everyone to stop teasing the cat who got a new name which was Sarah.  And they lived happily ever after.

The Empty House Upon the Stars.
Once upon a time there was an abandoned empty house in the sky.  There were two stars and an upside down crescent moon on top of the house.  Ten years later a group of Aborigines found the abandoned house and they all agreed to make it their new house inside because it had a roof to keep them warm for at least a full night.  They started getting rid of all the old cobwebs and at midday they grabbed all the materials to make it feel a lot more homely.  The next week after they woke up and saw a big leak they went to hunt for animal skin to fill up the leak.
In the jungle they were as silent as a tiger and luckily found two deer so they grabbed their throwing knife and tossed it and they hit him right in the guts.  When they got back they chopped down a tree and made a wooded ladder.  They climbed up the ladder and plugged up the hole and lived happily and loved their new home.

The End

It is a cold dark morning in Morocco and I am tired. I woke up 3 times last night.  It was terrible.  Today I have the usual Mosque meeting in the morning.  So I start to get dressed.  Then my parents came in but all they said is “ no Mosque meeting today.”
So I got ready for school.  When I got to school I was so happy to see my friend Mahadi.  He was sick the past couple of days.  Just then the teacher called us in.  When we all got inside she told us that we had visitors.  As soon as she said that we heard the car park and out jumped a load of people.  They did not even come into our classroom.  After that it was just a normal day so when  I got home I jumped into bed and went to sleep.

Once upon a time there was a very happy place.  It was called Happyfield.  Everyone that lived there was very happy and delightful all of the time.  Some of the happiest people were the President of Happyfield, Mr Happy-go-Lucky and his co-worker Steven. They were very good co-workers and made Happyfield a very welcoming place.   One day at the electricity company one of the pipes burst! Because of that the building caught on fire.  Thankfully one of the workers found a fire extinguisher and put out the fire.  There was still a lot of the building but the main problem was how many people were in the building. One of the workers went into the building to see if everyone  was OK and some of the people were alright.  But they found the President injured! The workers called the ambulance and wheeled him on a wheeling bed and put him in the truck.  “I hope he is going to be OK,” said one of the workers.  “Same here,” said another worker.
 The President woke up.  He sat up and saw a bandage on his arm.  As the doctor walked in with another bandage, he saw the President sitting up.  He was so shocked he dropped the bandage in surprise.  “HE’S ALIVE!” yelled the doctor.  “HE WHAT!” screamed the nurse.  “HE IS ALIVE”! screamed the nurse.  They lived happily ever after.



Words and pictures

This post features drawings by Eritrean refugee children from Aaidun and Nidal Elementary in Kassala, South East Sudan, with accompanying stories written by children of Flemington Primary School, Melbourne Australia.

The aim of this project is to stimulate links between students from the schools, and through the sharing of the pictures and stories to develop a deeper understanding of each other’s culture, beliefs and living conditions. 

The project has grown out of the gift of art work produced by Eritrean refugee children in Aaidun and Nidal Elementary and brought to Melbourne by Mr Anwar Alishek from the Eritrean Australian Humanitarian Aid (EAHA), a Melbourne Rotarian supporting Eritrean refugees in Sudan.

Some of the drawings and accompanying stories  were exhibited at Gallery Sunshine Everywhere in 2015.

This is a joint project of Gallery Sunshine Everywhere, College of Education, Victoria University and the Eritrean Australian Humanitarian Association, facilitated by Sarah Tartakover, Maureen Ryan and Anwar Alishek.

This project was supported by the Victorian Multicultural Commission and will continue into 2016 with support from Brimbank City Council.

There is a pdf of the first book printed in this series available for download:

Book layout and web design by Debbie Qadri

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