Malawi schoolboy presents Queen with digital Diamond Jubilee gift

Malawian student John Samson, 13, from the Jacaranda School for Orphans, on Wednesday presented the Jubilee Time Capsule, an online educational project to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee at an event in London, England.

John was selected after being  named the Junior winner of the Royal Commonwealth Society’s 2012 Commonwealth Essay Competition.

He presented the top 60 JTC entries to The Queen on a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1. at the Royal Commonwealth Society.

The device will then be taken to the Royal Collection, Windsor, where it will be the first artefact on a tablet computer in the Collection.

John’s own entry, titled ‘The Day I Wore My Best Clothes’, is included in the top 60 JTC submissions.

Malawian John Samson with the Queen

Jacaranda founder and CNN awardee Marie da Silva said Samson lost his parents in 2009 and wrote the story from his experience.

“By 2009, I was an orphan. When I lost my grandmother, things became even harder. My uncle, who took me under his fold, deserted me. Then, I had to fend for myself and my little sister Eunice. I had to get money for food,” John told Malawi’s flagship daily, The Nation recently.

“I used to beg for food at the marketplace and at times, I did piecework so we had food in the house. Sometimes, we had no food, but all along, I considered what my mother used to tell me that the surest way to get out of the trap of poverty and destitution was to pursue education,” said John, whose father was Mozambican.

People of all ages entered stories through an online platform created by Capsool on, or through free JTC mobile and tablet apps. The The JTC closed for entries on 30 September 2012.

Danny Sriskandarajah, Director of the Royal Commonwealth Society said: “The Commonwealth has been at the heart of Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and we wanted to do something innovative to celebrate the association and the 2.1 billion people that live in it. The Jubilee Time Capsule is an amazing collection of stories and memories that shows the shared history and aspirations of the Commonwealth’s citizens.

“We’re thrilled to know the JTC – and the People’s History it has created – will now have a legacy of its own at the Royal Collection.”

John Samson

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