Six years later, 14-year-old Damba is thriving in Alexandria, Virginia. She lives with her guardians, Sahr and Amina, also immigrants from Sierra Leone, whom she calls "uncle" and "aunt."
She says her mother would be very proud of her life in America. Though she goes to school, has many friends and earns good grades, Damba says she misses her mom's "loving touch." Says Damba, "I miss the way she'd cuddle me up."
Damba hopes to help the family she left behind in Sierra Leone in any way she can, and she dreams of seeing them again. The day she sees her mom again "is going to be the best moment of my life."