On Saturday, five members of Manitoba’s Ethiopian community were honoured at the Ethio-Canadian Charitable Promotional Awards.
For honouree Faven Mergia, the event was “the start of something new,” bringing together a community she said is sometimes divided by political rifts from Ethiopia.
Mergia was the youngest award recipient at the ceremony, taking home the “Strive for Excellence” award. The 25-year-old works with youth through Peaceful Village, a program facilitated by the Manitoba School Improvement Program.
Born and raised in a refugee camp in Kenya, Mergia came to Winnipeg with her family as a refugee when she was 14. Since then, she’s only been to Ethiopia once, in 2011.
Now, she’s excited to give back to her community, in Winnipeg and in Ethiopia itself.
“I continue to be inspired by that and I feel like there’s so many different doors being opened and I’m just willing to take in the experience and be helpful as much as I can, but also to keep in mind that I still have a responsibility to help out in some way with what’s happening back home, and so whatever way I can be helpful I’m more than willing to contribute.”