My name is Yonas. I initially started on this journey when I was eleven years old and living in the Washington DC area. I love futbol (AKA soccer in the US and futbol everywhere else) and have been playing since I was four years old. During my last visit to Ethiopia, where my family is from, I saw many kids playing futbol with balls made out of plastic bags, old rags and even trash. Since then, I’ve wanted to do a fundraiser to send futbols to Ethiopia so that as many kids as possible can play with a real ball.
I had gone to see the movie Horizon Beautiful, with my family, at the African Film Festival. It is a wonderful movie about a homeless boy in Ethiopia who dreams of becoming a futbol star and the adventures he goes through trying to make his dream come true. My family and I thought many more kids should see the movie because it is beautiful, funny, inspiring and set in Ethiopia, a place where most kids have never been. I also wondered if we could do something for young futbol players in Ethiopia while getting more people to see the movie.
My family encouraged me to write to the film maker, Stefan Jäger, with my idea for a fundraiser. I was surprised when he immediately emailed me back and said he liked my idea and would support it. Mr. Jäger said that I would be able to show his movie for free as long as his distributor agreed. A few days later, the distributor, Xiaojaun Zhou, agreed to let me show the movie for one event. She said that if the event was successful and I got a big sponsor, we could then talk about distribution rights.Thanks to their generosity, and support from my parents, sister, and other family members, the dream of giving lots of kids in Ethiopia the chance to play futbol is becoming a reality!