Making a Difference: Refugee Garden Oasis

Tampa, Florida -- Downa dirt road in eastern Hillsborough County, vegetables are being cleaned, as the fields are tended too. This garden oasis is the brainchild of aBaptist church pastor and a priest from a Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Pastor Joseph Germain had several hundred Burmese refugees attending his church, many of whom were struggling.

One day during a community meeting, he met Father Berhanu Bekele from St. Mary's Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

As they talked, the two discovered one had refugees whocould notfind the fruits and vegetables from their homeland, and the other had plenty of land. From there, an idea for a garden grew.

Now, everything that is grown is divided evenly by the refugees.

The garden has given many of them a place to meet other refugees and also feel good about helping themselves.

The churches are now hoping to start a fish pond, the fish would be used to help feed the refugees as well as possibly generate income to help those less fortunate. They are currently looking for donations as well as expert advise on how to get started.

Ifyou would like to help, please contactPastor Joseph Germain by calling 813-309-2244.


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