Aberdeen elementary Grade 6 students (BC, Canada) were working on a fundraiser so as to raise money for Bete Desta Children’s Home, an orphanage in Ethiopia.

By Jessica Wallace (Kamloops This Week) |

Last summer, Adam Vukusic went out for Ethiopian food with his family in Winnipeg. Pictures on the walls of Harman’s Cafe told stories, images of orphaned children that were helped with every menu item ordered. It was there Adam learned the owner, Desta Worku Negatu, uses restaurant proceeds to operate an orphanage in the Third-World African country in which she grew up.

It planted a seed in the mind of the 12-year-old Kamloops boy, one that grew after he survived a serious biking accident.

“One of the things that really got him through was on Day 7 [in the hospital], he had an epiphany [to help Negatu],” said Adam’s mom, Tamara.

In the fall, Adam had emergency surgery to save him and his leg after rupturing an artery from his stomach to his leg while biking.

It meant two months away from school and an extensive recovery. He spent seven days in the ICU and came up with the idea to help Negatu from his hospital bed.

“She’s such an amazing woman and she dedicates her whole life to this . . . I decided it would be nice if I could help,” Adam told KTW.

ALSO READ: Rock Island High School Students Make Memories for Kids in Ethiopia

He went back to school and rallied his Grade 6 friends at Aberdeen elementary to collect used sports equipment to help kids in need. Why sporting goods?

“In Ethiopia, they have simple needs covered like pencils and paper, but they’re not able to have any fun with sports gear,” Adam said.

Noble intentions aside, the plan required some problem-solving. One, shipping things like basketballs and baseball gloves isn’t exactly economical. Two, there’s the issue of all those hand-me-down ice skates going to a country so close to the equator.

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