Kingston man hopes to bring family to Canada from Ethiopia

Click to play video: 'Kingston man hopes to bring family back from Ethiopia'
Kingston man hopes to bring family back from Ethiopia
WATCH: A Kingston man is a living example of perseverance. Hamse Abdi, who came to Canada as a refugee from Ethiopia, is saving up to bring his mother and brother to Canada also – Jan 13, 2024

Hamse Abdi and Mike Wilson delve into the intricacies of their upcoming project—a benefit concert at the Spire next month aimed at raising funds to reunite Abdi’s mother and brother with him in Canada.

Currently residing in an Ethiopian refugee camp, the prospect of a joyous reunion fuels Abdi’s determination.

“My mom is very happy to be reunited with her child; my brother is excited to see his brother. So they’re quite happy and excited, and they would love to come live with me,” Abdi said.

Having faced the hardships of fending for himself from a young age, Abdi’s journey took him from gathering water for his village as a 13-year-old to leaving Africa at 18 in pursuit of a better life. Unfortunately, a three-year stint in an Indonesian prison as an undocumented migrant preceded his attainment of refugee status in Canada, ultimately leading him to Kingston, Ont.

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Now, employed full-time at Costco while pursuing his education in social work, Abdi expresses his relief and happiness.

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“I feel relieved, I feel very happy. Because I was able to do what I wanted to do. I was given the opportunity to go back to school, which is really precious,” Abdi said.

His past challenges, coupled with his unwavering dedication to family, drive him to allocate a portion of his salary to support his mother and brother in Ethiopia.

To facilitate their relocation to Canada, Abdi hopes to raise $30,000, having already secured approximately a third of the funds through cash and in-kind donations. The upcoming benefit concert, a pivotal element in his plan, is crucial for gathering the necessary resources.

“My goal is (to reunite) next year if I can make it. But I need to raise these funds first to put the application up,” Abdi added.

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With the anticipated success of the benefit concert, Abdi hopes to get a step closer to the long-awaited reunion with his family.

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