Stories | July 1, 2024

Arlington, Va., (June 29) The inaugural “Run for Refugees” 5K event aimed to raise crucial funds to support the pressing needs of refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs) was successfully completed on Saturday morning at the Blumont Park, here in Arlington.

Organized in solidarity with refugees and displaced persons in Northern Ethiopia, and refugees in Sudan and worldwide, the event drew over 200 runners, including world-renowned Ethiopian athletes Gebregziabher Gebremariam and Werknesh Kidane, along with staff and community members.

USCRI Director Eskinder Negash, Joan Negash, ECDC Director of Resettlement Anam Gnaho, Community Engagement Program Officer Eden Gebresilassie

“With the theme ‘Run for Refugees,’ this event underscores our commitment to providing hope, care, and essential support to those who have been forced to flee their homes due to conflict, persecution, and other crises,” said ECDC’s president Tsehaye Tefera, who also participated in the run. “Every step taken in this 5K run symbolizes a stride toward a brighter future for displaced individuals and families.” He added his thanks to the sponsors and all those who participated in the event.

The run featured three races: Elite, Open, and Family. Funds raised through the “Run for Refugees” 5K will be allocated towards providing vital support to refugees and IDPs in Sudan and Tigray, Northern Ethiopia. From shelter and healthcare to education and livelihood opportunities, ECDC raises funds that play a pivotal role in offering assistance and hope to those who have been forced to flee their homes.

“We believe that every individual deserves a safe haven and a chance to rebuild their lives,” said Tsehaye Tefera. “The ‘Run for Refugees’ event is not just about running; it’s about coming together as a community to show our support for displaced persons and to make a tangible impact on their lives.”

ECDC has expanded its overseas programs to bolster its humanitarian assistance and restoration through supporting education programs in Northern Ethiopia, Tigray. Volunteers from Arlington Career Center, ECDC, ECDC-ACC VA, and several community donors and sponsors collaborated to make the event a success.

ECDC’s Revive Initiative has four pillars Rebuilding education, Versatile computer literacy, Inclusive well-being of women and children, and Essential health restoration.

Athlete Geberegziabher Gebremariam, his son Nati Gebremariam who came first in the elite 5K race, ECDC’s President and CEO Dr. Tsehaye Teferra.

ECDC has a longstanding track record of building schools and investing in education in Tigray. “Over the years, we’ve witnessed the power of education to uplift and transform communities. The REVIVE Initiative will build on this foundation, introducing innovative approaches to rebuilding education infrastructure and fostering a dynamic learning environment,” said Dr. Teferra.

Sponsors on the event included Citizens Bank, Adnan Nafi, State Farms Agent, Virginia Hospitals Center, Meaza Restaurant, Bethel Café, Dama Rsetaruant & Café, and Azi Flowers. Individuals