Young kids running in worn-out clothing, kicking around a deflated soccer ball, reading old books and looking through torn apart textbooks. These struggles are those that not many Americans face. The children of the New Hope Orphanage in Ambo, Ethiopia have grown accustomed playing in the dirt and wearing old clothes. With the help of a rather rare RBHS opportunity, these kids could be supplied with new toys and means for education.
This opportunity is the toy drive, asking for donations of old books, toys and educational DVDs, based in room 329, that aims to help these Ethiopian children through the Tomorrow Come charity foundation.
Dr. Arturo Echeverri, a neurologist from Billing, Montana, is the founder of the Tomorrow Come foundation. A firm believer in helping others, the doctor urges everyone to help in whatever method possible.
Dr. Echeverri’s involvement in giving was somewhat gradual. Upon learning of a ‘sponsorship’ program for Ethiopian youth from his church, Dr. Echeverri felt privileged enough to begin sponsoring 10 children.
“[After sponsoring these kids], I went on many mission trips to South America, Central America and Europe, and when presented the opportunity to go to Africa, I wanted to meet them,” Dr. Echeverri said. “I thought to myself, ‘If I’m already sponsoring them then i might as well meet them.”
The neurologist’s intentions were to quickly meet these kids and be on his way. Despite this, he was blown away by the abhorred conditions these children lived in, and the innocence and goodness of the kids hearts.
“When I first traveled [to Ethiopia] five years ago, I fell in love with the kids. I thought to myself ‘Oh my god what’s happening. I’m sponsoring so many kids and their futures don’t look too good’. You know I was glad the kids were looking good and healthy but I couldn’t ignore how bad the education was. I was troubled for an entire year and thought about adopting them, but finally I decided to bring the education to them.”
With this in mind, Dr. Echeverri started the Tomorrow Come Foundation and began making bi-annual trips to the small orphanage.
With the goal of bringing support and help to these kids, the primary target was, and persisted to be bringing medical care, and proper education. Gathering supporters to come help, the trips each year have grown larger in numbers.
One volunteer, Dr. Adam Beckett, an ER doctor for the University Of Missouri, has accompanied a couple of trips with the TCF, as well as many others around the world.
“The kind of care we give is really basic stuff, that just isn’t available to kids. In Ethiopia I did [some] public health clinics [which try and help everyone] through primary care practices, as well as teaching,” Dr. Beckett said. “…In some places, such as refugee camps, we set up primary care clinics so that we can reach these people who don’t have access to [medical care].
Dr. Beckett, having seen the third-world conditions of so many places, feels morally obligated to lend his expertise, and urges those that can to do the same by any means or size.
Similarly, junior Finn Kisida, also works to give from himself by searching for small opportunities, such as the toy drive, to give back.
“We live in a place where we have access to the best medicine, education and access to products,” Kisida said. “ It just makes sense to lend a hand, no matter how small, to the people who don’t.”
As Drs. Beckett and Echeverri try to round volunteers, others attempt to gather medicine, toys, books and things of the nature, as the kids are ecstatic to receive any sort of gifts, Dr. Echeverri said.
“Our goal is to start with one orphanage, the one I fell in love with, and once we are successful and start seeing improvements, we can move on to the next one, and the next one, and the next one,” Dr. Echeverri said. “The foundation is definitely growing and the more volunteers we get, the better we do.”
For more information on the Tomorrow Come Organization, visit https://www.tomorrowcome.org/