Daniel was born in up-country, Liberia on April 29, 1996. For the first few years of his life, he lived with his loving Mom, of whom he has sweet and fond memories. However, when the civil war swept through his village and people were forced to run, Daniel was separated from his mom. He lived with his Aunt for awhile, but she was unable to provide and care for him long term. Because Daniel's father was already in his 50s when Daniel was born and had fathered 20+ other children, he took no interest in Daniel and refused to help with his care. Daniel's aunt felt she had no other choice but to leave him at the Children's Rescue Center Orphanage, in hopes that Daniel's needs would be met and that he would receive an education.
Daniel remembers the early years at the orphanage fondly, even though it was scary to be separated from his family and anyone who spoke his language. Under the loving leadership of Mother Rose Clarke, the orphanage founder, Daniel felt he had a place and was cared for. He quickly learned English and was able to start school. Daniel's small cousin soon joined him at the orphanage, and it felt good to have true family around. However, things slowly began to turn more difficult. When Mother Rose Clarke died unexpectedly, her children, who did not share her vision for bringing up children in the same way she did, took over. The climate on the mission became harsh and Daniel was often the brunt of unfair (and unloving) punishment. He even tried running away several times, only to be punished more severely. To add to the pain of his situation, Daniel learned on one of his aunt's visits that his mother had died during the war. He was heartbroken.
Daniel persevered, though. He made education his focus. Even though he left the mission and jumped from one living situation to the next, he buckled down and worked hard through school, earning a high school diploma in 2017!