Community members gather at Idaho Conference on Refugees

Posted at 5:09 PM, Feb 03, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-03 19:09:41-05

BOISE — Community members gathered at Boise State on Monday for the Idaho Conference on Refugees. The event aims to help people connect, learn, and share experiences.

One of the speakers, Tecle Gebremicheal, says he lived in a refugee camp in Ethiopia for eight years.

"Went to the refugee camp when I was thirteen years old, and I was by myself, and there wasn't enough food. There wasn't like a place. There wasn't clean water. Probably the first two or three years we had to eat like one meal a day, and there wasn't electricity or clean water, something that it seems like the whole life seems like it was just night and long night," said Gedremicheal.

He says moving here was an adjustment for him.

"It's a whole different world, you know, like the electricity, the clean water, the car, the street, and the language and the culture. The first impression is I went to Winco. It's a huge warehouse full of food and live my entire life not having enough food, not to choose, but not having enough food. So I went there, and I saw this food could feed the refugee camp for weeks, but yet we were starving and the refugee camp for many years, so that was amazing."

Alex Mwibey says he grew up in a refugee camp in Malawi. Now he's working to help other kids get resources that he didn't have.

"They don't have school equipment, you know, they don't have clothes, they don't have shelters and all of this stuff, and I want to do this. I want to help them. I wasn't able to go to school either, but since I have a chance, I have the opportunity to come to the u-s I think I can accomplish my goals and help my friends in the u-s, kids and other stuff to go to school, so they complete their goals," said Mwibey.

Both of them are passionate about teaching others.

"Whatever our background is, now we're here, and we're going to stay here, and how can we be part of the community and how can we build a life here not only just ours but the country that we're here," said Gebremicheal.

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