Hundreds show support at teenage refugee's funeral in Boise

Posted at 5:59 PM, Jul 22, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-22 20:09:10-04

Less than a week after a fifteen-year-old boy drowned at Quinn's pond Treasure Valley residents are stepping up to show the refugee family, new to the Boise area they care by attending the teen's funeral. 15-year old Diedonne Eca was declared dead after going under the water at Quinns Pond on July 14th. Eca was one of a family of six who had arrived in Boise nine days earlier from the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Dieudonne's father expressed sadness earlier this week at the thought there may be only a handful of people at his son's memorial. But on Saturday, Boise proved him wrong as hundreds came out to say their farewells and celebrate the teen's life. Thousands of dollars were donated to the family to help pay for funeral expenses.

"We have had people from many, many different faiths stepping forward to offer places for services we've had so many individuals from the community, over 300 who donated to make the service possible and free to the family," said Julianne Donnelly Tzuel the Executive Director of the International Rescue Committee in Boise. 

Prior to coming to Boise, the Eca family spent ten years at a refugee camp in Malawi. Diedonne was honored today at a two-hour service in both English and Swahili.