BENEFITING: The Momentum Group
Meet Awot …
The 30-year-long Eritrean War of Independence ravaged Awot’s childhood when an errant bomb killed his mother. He was only ten years old. After that, he was left to care for his little sister, working whatever odd jobs he could find. Hardship struck again when a heavy container used to feed animals fell on his right leg during work. Not able to visit a doctor, he used traditional medicine of hot oil and water and bandaged it himself. It never healed properly and in later years he had to wear a brace.
In May 1998, border issues sparked yet another war between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The Eritrean government tried to force Awot to join the army, despite the fact that he had a bad leg and the responsibility of caring for his siblings. With no other choice, Awot fled to Ethiopia, where he was placed in a refugee camp with 10,000 other displaced Eritreans. In the camp, Awot baked and sold bread to try and earn what little money he could. Even though it wasn’t much, Awot enjoyed doing what he could to help others. Six years later, at the age of 30, he was separated from his family but finally able to relocate to the United States.
Every year, thousands of people just like Awot are relocated to refugee resettlement communities in the United States with next to nothing. Boise, Idaho is one of those communities, helping to resettle 1000 refugees every year. Through hard work, they have found jobs and built homes here. But when the economy collapsed in 2008, their rate of unemployment in this previously highly livable city jumped from 5% to 50%. The refugee community was plunged into crisis. Someone had to do something.
It turned out that “someone” was us, and that “something” was food.
At Create Common Good, we use food to change lives. We train people and we feed people. By training and employing refugees in food production, we’re able to grow food, prepare food, and sell food. We use this revenue to supplement the grants and donations that fund our job training and feeding programs. We’re a social enterprise, a growing business that happens to be a nonprofit. Since we opened our doors in 2009, we’ve trained roughly a third of the adults who settle in Idaho annually and placed 95% of our graduates into jobs, impacting the lives of thousands of refugees and their families. We also serve tens of thousands of healthy meals a year.
With a smile that lights up any room, Awot now shares his passion for cooking and food with others. After joining CCG in early 2011, he has improved his English and cooking skills and become an irreplaceable part of the CCG team, helping to train other refugees and serving lunch at a local elementary school as the School Lunch Program manager. He also works at Flatbread Community Oven, a local restaurant.
Awot is just one of thousands of refugees that have been helped by CCG. But there are many more Awots out there who could be experiencing success. It is time for CCG to scale up. In early February, 2013 we will begin construction on a new facility that will help us scale our good by 500 percent, enabling thousands more like Awot to have access to our training programs and thousands more to be fed through school lunch, local restaurants, hospitals, child care centers, and retailers. The new facility will allow us to have not 5 but 50 people in the kitchen, gaining experience through employment and training programs, and as well as feeding others.
We have tremendous opportunity to scale the good, we just need the space to do it. However, we are only half of the way to our goal of $350,000. We need your help raising the remaining $175,000 in order to open our doors. In 10 weeks--$175k, then we’re outta the gates, off and running, with new business that’s in the pipeline. We’re leaping the chasm from potential to the reality, and can create SO MUCH possibility. Help us make it.
Please consider making a gift to scale the good through a donation today.