Shoes for Hope in Marechiaro Italy

Please help provide shoes for our students in Marechiaro, Italy! Currently, our students own one pair of cheap sandals that easily tear and damage their feet.  
We are supplying 43 boys with shoes, each pair costs $25. 

Our students have escaped a rebellion and deadly massacre that took place in West Africa.  This massacre has caused many of them to lose their family and friends.  
Because of this deadly event, our students left everything they own and set out on a journey to Italy that lasted between 9-16 months of traveling. 

Their journey is remarkable as each of them have risked their lives several times in hope of having a better future. Each of our students have survived imprisonment,  days of walking in the desert without food or water, and even dodged bullets in Libya. 
For futher details of their personal stories please read their profiles below.

Our young men are risilient, determined and extremely motivated. Their drive for learning is immense. Currently,they are learning English and Italian to prepare for their opportunities in the future. 

Please donate and provide the basic necesity of shoes for our students. We are supplying a pair of shoes for 43 boys, each pair cost $25.  

How do I know these brave young men?
I volunteered to teach English in Italy  this summer. My assignment was to teach in Marechiaro, to these refugees. All funds will be sent directly to their camp in  Marechiaro.


Bobo is from Guinea, he is 16 years old. His journey started when he walked to Algeria where he stayed for 8 months. He got money from a job that he had there, and from there went to Libya. Once he arrived in Libya, he was taken by the police and taken to jail. He was in prison for two months. In prison, he was with his friend Bobocar who he had known from his hometown. Prison was horrible for Bobo. He was beaten and starved daily. After two months, Bobo escaped from prison by breaking down the door after the guards had gone to sleep. Him and his friend escaped together and were spotted by a man named Mufafsa who helped them boys. Mufafsa fed, bathed, and let the boys sleep at his house. The man told the boys that he would help them get on a boat to Italy.

Bobo has family in Guinea, but Bobo left them behind because there was no money at home, and he wanted to get out into the world and pursue his dream of becoming a dancer. He has two younger sisters and a mother. In Guinea, his life was very difficult. There was not enough food or money, and his family was always hungry. When Bobo told his mom that he wanted to leave Guinea, she was very upset and told him he couldn’t leave until he was 20. Instead of listening to her, he left at night without saying goodbye to his family. His mom didn’t want him to leave because she feared that he would die in the sea. Bobo left everything behind because he wanted to go to Europe, get a job, and send money back to his family. However, his journey was very long getting to Europe. He spent two months working in prison, and two months working in Libya. His job in Libya was to lift bricks. After he made enough money, he got on a boat to Italy.

The boat ride over was very difficult. It was a small boat, and it was very crowded. There was no food or water. Everyone on the boat was praying that they would make it to Italy. On his boat, two people died; an old man, and a baby. After three days on the boat, Bobo finally arrived in Italy

Sadou is from Guinea, he is 16 years old. Sadou has a mother and an older sister in Guinea, his father was shot. When he left home, he was taken in Libya as a prisoner for three months. He was taken to prison with a friend, but his friend was shot in prison. Sadou escaped from prison with the help of some local people. He then got on a boat and came to Italy. He dreams of going to America (California) and playing basketball.

Thierno is from Guinea, he is 17 years old. His parents were both killed by bad people in Africa. He has a 1 year old sister who lives in Guinea, but she has been adopted by another family. He took a train from Guinea to Libya which was very hot. He was taken to prison in Libya for two months but was bailed out of prison using money that a friend had given him. He got on a boat and came to Italy after he got out of prison. He aspires to be a singer one day.


La Cena
La Cena Is from Guinea, he is 17 years old. He has a little brother and a mother. His dad was killed in the Massacre that took place in Guinea on September 28th, 2009.  He took a car and a train to Libya. In Libya, he was taken to prison for three months. In prison, he didn’t sleep very much. There was no room for him to lie down. He paid $500 to get out of prison which he got from his mother. He took a boat to Italy. His brother and mom are still in Guinea, and he hopes to see them again someday once he gets his papers. He aspires to play soccer when he is older

Youssouf is from Guinea. He left his hometown because there is a lot of war in Guinea, so he had to leave for his own safety. On his journey to get to the boat to come to Libya, two of his friends were killed, he was shot in the leg and still has the scar. He came to Italy on a small boat with his friend. He has a mother that still lives in Guinea, however his little brother and dad were both killed. He thinks about his family every day and misses them very much. When he is older, Youssouf wants to play football.


Kone Kassoum
Kone came on a boat to Italy. He left his hometown because he wanted to find work in Europe. He tries to stay brave and doesn’t let fear get to him. He wants to earn money so he can send it to his family at home. He hopes to return home to his family someday.


Yaya is from Guinea, he is 17 years old. Yaya has a mother and two brothers, his father was shot. On his journey, he was imprisoned in Libya for two months. He escaped by digging a hole in the dirt and crawling out of the prison. He came on a small boat with a lot of people to get to Italy. Yaya does not like Italy, he wants to go to America and make money. He misses his mother very much.


Mohamad is from Ivory coast, he is 16 years old. When leaving home, his parents didn’t want him to leave. He didn’t say goodbye to his family because he knew they wouldn’t let him leave if he said goodbye. He has a mother, father, two sisters, and three brothers. He misses his mom every day. He traveled to Libya in a car, and from there was taken to prison for three months. He left prison because his brother gave him money to get out. In prison, his brother and two of his friends were killed by being beaten to death. In prison, Mohamad was beaten badly every day. Mohamad wants to move to France soon, and then go to America. He aspires to play football when he gets older.

Omar is from Guinea, he is 17 years old. He never knew his mother because she passed away giving birth to him. He traveled with his father to come to Europe. On the way in Libya, the police killed his father in front of Omar. Omar ran for his life but was caught and taken to prison. Omar was in prison for seven months. In prison, Omar was badly beaten. He escaped with the help of some local people. Once out of prison, he walked in the desert for three days with no shoes. He begged people for food and water, but barely got anything. After arriving in Italy, he stays strong for his father. He wants to eventually go to Germany, play football, and then venture to America.


Abdoramen is from Senegal, he is 17 years old. He left his hometown in 2016. He left his hometown because there was a rebellion. He was traveling for four months. His journey was very difficult. He traveled in the desert for five days in a small pickup truck with 30 people in the truck. In Libya, if you were a black man, you were most likely taken to prison. He was taken to prison for two weeks. It is very difficult to get out of prison because to do so, you must pay a large amount of money. When this happened to him, it was difficult because his family had no money. His family finally got together the money and gave it to him to leave prison. After prison traveling to the boats to get to Italy, bandits would come up to him and ask him for money, if he did not give them money, he would be taken back to prison. Because of this, he spent a large amount of money to get to Europe. He went from Sinagah, to Libya, to Italy. When getting to Europe, he traveled on a small boat, but later got on a bigger boat. He has been in Italy for one month and three weeks.

 Abdoramen does not like Italy very much. Many of the boys including himself do not have shoes or clothes. He only has one pair of sandals that he wears every day. He has no pocket money and doesn’t feel that he can survive on what he is being given. He only can call his family once every two weeks. His mother is sad because she does not like that he is unhappy in Italy. He wants to earn money so he can send it back to his family. His family still lives in Casamas. He has a father, a mother, an uncle, and a friend living there. He also has two sisters and three brothers. He is the second oldest brother in his family.
His hobbies include playing football. He really wants to get a job soon, so he can send money home. He will do any job, he just wants to make money. He wants to someday go to a university and become an English to French translator. He feels that it is very important to know two languages. He also speaks Pular, and Wolof (both languages from Senegal). He is also currently learning Italian. He must stay strong because he has no one to motivate him. He stays strong for his family.

MD Harun
He is 17 years old, and is from Bangladesh. He left his hometown because there was a lot of fighting at his house. He went from Bangladesh to Libya, and then from Libya to Italy. In Libya, he was shot at many times and had to go into hiding. It took him three weeks and twelve days to get to Italy. The boat was very small and there was not a lot of food or water. They only had the clothes that were on their back. At home, he has a sister and a mother.

Bobocar is 17 years old, he is from Guinea. He lost his father in the 2009 massacre that occurred on September 28th. His mom later died in 2015 from Ebola. He has two little brothers that are taken care of by his aunt. He knew that he would not be safe in Guinea, so he left to make a better life for himself.

 His journey to Europe was not easy. He walked from Guinea to Libya, where he was caught and taken as a prisoner. He was in prison for three months. In prison, many of his friends were killed. He was beaten daily and barely ate any food. He was taken to prison with his brother, who was shot in front of him by one of the prison guards. The only water he was given was hot water. He escaped prison by pushing down some guards. There were three guards and 89 prisoners pushed them down and ran. A friend who he had met in prison also escaped with him. He had been in prison for a total of seven months. Him and his friend finally got on a boat to come to Italy, however his friend died on the boat. On the boat, there was 135 people. 105 of those people died.

 He wants to eventually go to France and study Sociology. He later wants to travel to America. It is very hard for him because he thinks about his family every day. He misses his parents very much, nighttime is the hardest for him. He loves learning anything he can. His hobbies include football, basketball, listening to music, dancing, and singing. He loves Chris Brown, Justin Bieber, Rick Ross, and Tyga.
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Organizer and beneficiary

Annmarie Barrera 
Parker, CO
Lauren Reisman