Help My Ethiopian Dad

Hi, my name is Feven Kruer.  I am a Freshman at Eastern Kentucky University.  I created this GoFundMe page to help raise money for my biological dad, Mandefero, who lives in Ethiopia.  But first, let me tell you a little about my story.

I was born in Nazeret, Ethiopia which is a small town about 45 miles South East of the capital city of Ethiopia.  When I was 5 years old, my mother died from AIDS. 

My dad was a soldier in the Ethipian Army, got shot in the elbow, and lost partial use of his right arm.  As a single father, my dad tried to take care of me as best as he could, but ultimately it was not possible for him to care for me.  When I was 7 years old, he put me up for adoption and I moved into Yoseph Orphanage.

I spent the next 8 years of my life growing up in an Orphanage in Ethiopia.  When I was 15 years old, I was adopted by a family from America.  A few weeks before the adoption was finalized, my Ethiopian dad was visiting me in the transition home.  While he was there visiting me, he had a stroke and became completely paralyzed.   

One month before my 16th birthday, I left my now paralyzed biological dad, moved to the other side of the world, got a new family, and started a new life.

A few weeks after arriving in America for the first time, I enrolled as a Freshman at Eminence High School.  I started learning a new language, adjusted to eating new food, adjusted to living with a new family, and made all new friends.  But other than that. I lived a pretty normal teenage least as normal as it could be.  

Fast forward four years later...

I graduated in the top 10 in my High School Class.

I enrolled in college at Eastern Kentucky University.

I have a great family who I love very much and they love me too!

Overrall, I have a pretty great life and I consider myself to be a very lucky girl.

Unfortunately, my biological dad has not been so lucky.  As I have been spending the last 4 years having the time of my life, my dad has been going through therapy and just trying to survive.  I call him on the phone every few months and get updates on how he is doing.  After four years of therapy, he has regained full use of one of his arms, partial use of the other, and is able to walk with some assistance and a limp.  

Before his stroke, he worked in construction.  As you can imagine, with the use of only one arm and barely being able to walk, he has not been able to work.

After being away from my Ethiopian friends and family for four long years, I was missing them very much.  I used money from my savings and all the money I received from graduation to purchase a plane ticket back to Ethiopia.  

My American Dad and I went back to Ethiopia in January 2018 to visit my Ethiopian family.   It was both one of the happiest and saddest trips of my life.

I had a GREAT time visiting with my Dad, Step Mom, Sisters, Cousins, Aunts, Uncles, and Friends...

Unfortunately, it made me realize just how bad they really had it.  My Dad, Step Mom, Sister, and another person live together in a two room (one bed room and one living room) house with 1 bed, and one couch.  

They live with 2 other families in a section of land that is smaller than most American homes.  The three families share one bathroom and one kitchen.  The bathroom is the only room that has running water, and it consists of a shower (no hot water heater) and a toilet.  The kitchen is basically a wood burning stove and an electric burner.

My step mom works as a counselor for HIV victims at the local hospital.  She earns 1,800 birr/month which is equal to $66.67/mo.  This is the only income that my Dad, Step Mom, Sister, and one other person have to live off of.

Their house is litterally falling apart and falling down and they have no way to repair it.

Ethiopia is a very poor country but things are still very expensive there.  In the past four years everything has gotten even more expensive.  When I left Ethiopia in 2013, it took 18 birr to equal 1 US dollar.  Now, it takes 27 birr to equal 1 US dollar.  Coffee, which is a staple in Ethiopian culture costs $6/lb.  Beef costs $10/lb.  Teff is a grain that is used to make Injera, a spongy bread that is ate at every meal, similar to how rice is eaten in China.  Teff has gotten so expensive, that my family has to mix teff with rice just to be able to afford to eat Injera. With prices like these, how does a family of 4 live on $66.67/mo? I don't know...

As I saw these things, it broke my heart. 

I have been leaving the dream in America, while my family has been struggling to find food to eat and clothes to wear. 

I complain about not having anything to wear with a closet full of clothes.

I complain about not having anything to eat with a pantry and refridgerator full of food.

I complain about being bored with a TV, laptop, cell phone, and video game system.

My American Dad, American Mom, and I all have cars that each cost more than the home that my Ethiopian family lives in.

I knew I had to do something to help but I didn't know what.  I'm in college and don't even have a job.  While I was in Ethiopia, I would spend every night talking to my American Dad about what we could do to help.  We struggled to come up with ideas.  What could we do to help? Sure we could give them money, but that is a one time thing.  It is not sustainable.  What could we do to allow my Ethiopian family to get a sustainable monthly income?

Towards the end of the trip the idea finally came to us...

That is a Bajaj!

A Bajaj is a small 3 wheeled vehicle.  They are an extremely popular form of transportation in Nazeret, Ethiopia.  Bajaj drivers are self employeed, and they are the Ethiopian equivelant of Taxi/Uber Drivers in America.  

Here is a video that we took from inside a Bajaj.

On average, Bajaj drivers make approximately 12,000 birr per month which is equal to approximately $444.44/mo.  That is 6.667 times MORE than what my family is currently living on!

If my Dad could become a Bajaj driver it could change the future for their entire family!  

There is only one problem...

In order to be a Bajaj driver, you need to own your own Bajaj.  A Bajaj costs approximately 100,000 birr or $3,750.  As I mentioned before, my Step Mom makes 1,800 birr per month.  In other words, a Bajaj costs 55.5 months salary.

On top of that, there are additional expenses for Driver's License, Permit, and maintenance.

It would be impossible for my family to ever afford a Bajaj on their own. 

However, with your help, we can change their future!

Will you please consider helping my family to purchase a Bajaj?  With a little help from all of my friends and family I know that we can make this dream a reality!

Please consider donating in any way that you can afford...

1 Starbucks Coffee ($5)
1 Fast Food Meal ($10)
1 Blue Ray Move ($25)
1 Trip to the Movies with the Family ($50)
1 Outfit ($75)
1 Sit Down Meal for the Whole Family ($100)
1 TV ($500)
1 Family Vacation ($1000)

(Thank You in Amharic, Ethiopia's Native Language)


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Feven Kruer 
Simpsonville, KY
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