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Eli B Gbayee

FROM THE BEGINNING Born in Monrovia, Liberia in 1984, Eli was separated from his family after the civil war broke out in 1989. Running for safety at age four with other refugees, Eli had no idea if his parents survived as he walked from Liberia to Sierra Leone, Board Waterside. Once there, Eli found himself living in several refugee camps, which he would later call home for the next eight and a half years. Lost, hungry and scared, there was a saying in the camp; “Only the strong will survive.” As a result, Eli quickly learned that picking from garbage cans and drinking dirty water was pertinent to his survival. He can recall rebels attacking and having to flee his tent with nothing except the clothing on his back. This continuous cycle left blisters on the bottom of his feet b

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