“The small right we’re doing now can be bigger, and bigger, and bigger and can bring a better thing for tomorrow,” Tecle Gebremichael said.
By Dean Johnson |
Eagle, ID―Idaho natives who happen to travel to Ethiopia might catch a glimpse of a familiar sight: The purple and gold athletic jerseys of Eagle Middle School.
The jerseys made the trek with the help of local organization Love Travels, a nonprofit started by an Ethiopian refugee who now lives in Boise. Tecle Gebremichael says he was looking for a way to go back and help his fellow countrymen.
Gebremichael has lived in Boise for a little over three years. Before arriving in the U.S., he spent five years in an orphanage and then the next eight years of his life in a small refugee camp in Eritrean, Ethiopia.
“Life was just unexpected,” he said. “Instead of going to school or having opportunity to help yourself, they just put you in a refugee camp.”
Gebremichael says he was one of the lucky ones who was able to get out of the country and make it to America. But he said he knew he needed to get back to Ethiopia so others could follow in his footsteps.
“They’ve already been in [a] bad place, they’ve already been in war, and they’ve already been in hate, in abusing.” he said. “So I’m just trying to be a positive and show them some love, to give them some hope.”
Gebremichael sought to do that by forming Love Travels. The nonprofit is aimed at bringing love and hope to those who face the same troubles he did years ago.
“The small right we’re doing now can be bigger, and bigger, and bigger and can bring a better thing for tomorrow,” Gebremichael said.
This past October Gebremichael and his friend Brandon Kindelberger returned to his refugee camp in Ethiopia. While they were there, they were able to bring not only clothes and soap, but inspiring words as well.
“They need someone to tell them that there is hope tomorrow; your life is not going to end here in a jungle,” Gebremichael said. “Your life has better in the future, you’re going to have a better education, you’re going to have a better life.”
With the help of Eagle Middle School and their donation of 500 team jerseys, Gebremichael and Kindelberger were able to give the children something they’ve never had before.
“They looked at it as their school clothes, they looked at it as now their team jersey,” Kindelberger said.
Bringing a sense of pride from Eagle, Idaho to Ethiopia.
“To see these kids repping the same jerseys that our high school kids are wearing and seeing Eagle and everything – it felt like home pride,” Kindelberger said. “I guarantee today that those kids will probably put on those jerseys and go play their soccer game in the field, like they do every day, but have divided teams of purple and gold.”
Gebremichael says he focused on children because he says they’re the future of the country. He added if he can bring hope to them and change their outlook on life, it could possibly change the outlook of the country.
Gebremichael and Kindelberger plan to go back to Ethiopia within the next year. If you’re interested in donating to Love Travels a link can be found here.
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