Today, Ellison was given the opportunity of a lifetime — to share with the royal couple how his life has been changed through World Vision’s work in the Solomon Islands. Prince William and Kate Middleton, Duchess of Cambridge, are paying a visit to our programs there as part of their Diamond Jubilee tour to celebrate the Queen’s 60 years on the throne.
Read on to hear Ellison’s story in his own words.
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My name is Ellison from Burns Creek. Today, I shared my community’s story with the royal couple. Last night, I couldn’t go to bed early — I was thinking about what was going to happen today.
This morning, I woke so early, too, and the first thing to do was smile. I was feeling so honored to have the chance to meet the couple.
I picked up the morning paper and called over the kids from the community to get them ready. World Vision came to pick us up in the truck along with the piglets to take us to the festival village, where World Vision had set up a hut.
When we arrived, we realized how many people were already there, and we got a bit nervous. I started to move around and talk to people, and then I got excited.
When the Duke and Duchess first walked in the our hut, they smiled and said hi, and I talked about how Burns Creek was before — how it was all messed up and no one wanted to come here.
I then talked to them about all the work we are doing to change the place. I shared about our savings project, and William and Kate asked lots of questions, like how poor people got money.
I told them that it was very hard for them to travel to town to do this, which is why we started our community savings box. They told me that it was a very interesting project.
Kate asked how it worked, and I showed them our passbook and stamp. We wrote William and Kate’s name in one and gave it to them, along with a carved stamp from World Vision as a gift.
I felt so proud to be there on behalf of the Burns Creek community. Everyone is so proud — the pastor, the village chief, and the kids. Today, they all felt a part of something special; they feel recognized. They didn’t feel like this before.
Afterward, even the government people came and asked me how I got to be in that hut, and they were interested in my story and the community’s story.
When I go to Burns Creek tonight, I will tell them what I saw with my eyes today. Tonight, it will be a big story for the village chiefs. I will also share my story at church on Sunday, and I will honor our community.
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