Refugee forms foundation to reach others in need

College Student Establishes Scholarships for Fellow Youth Refugees Through Educational Foundation
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* Eritrea
* Refugee
* American Dream
* East Africa

* Media
* Non-profit

* Atlanta - Georgia - US

ATLANTA - Jan. 30, 2014 - PRLog -- Awet Woldegebriel, a 21-year-old senior at Atlanta’s Oglethorpe University and founder of Knowledge Aid Foundation, rang in the New Year by announcing the Hand Up Scholarship for Higher Education.

The Scholarship, made possible by educational foundation Knowledge Aid, will help fund the education of students from families affected by war and/or those who have found themselves in refugee status. Knowledge Aid will award five students worldwide each a $1000 USD scholarship to a post- secondary institution of their choice. Woldegebriel says the goal is to alleviate the stress that so many refugees feel in regards to financing their education.

“Education is not a luxury... it’s a right.” says Woldegebriel, “Many of these students have families that have no savings, thus shutting them out of all the opportunities that come from higher education. What we are trying to do is lessen some of the financial constraints holding these strong students back.”
Woldegebriel is a living testament to the idea that “education is one of the best weapons we have with which to arm our children.” A former refugee himself, Woldegebriel has since served as class president at Oglethorpe University for three years and founded a thriving nonprofit, Knowledge Aid, sending donated books to Africa through the foundation. He has twice been selcted to attend the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI), even speaking at the annual conference, and now serves as a CGI Ambassador.

“Refugees and children of refugees don’t get to grow up without being exposed to the worst of humanity,” says Woldegebriel. “I’ve seen a mother watch her son be killed. I have seen families be forced to move to other countries with zero knowledge of how they will survive. Many refugees are not as lucky to have the opportunity to attend college like I did due to their family’s inability to provide and support...which is the inspiration of this scholarship, with those families and students in mind. I want to help people who are in the same situation that my siblings and I had to overcome.”

Woldegebriel came to the United States from the East African country of Eritrea. He and his family fled the region when a war between Eritrea and the neighboring country of Ethiopia began. “One day we were playing soccer with our friends...the next day we were refugees traveling to whatever country would take us,” recalls Woldegebriel.

Knowledge Aid is committed to changing the way aid is perceived and shifting the conversation from how [organizations] can go from giving handouts to giving “hand-ups/”

“I started Knowledge Aid because I don’t believe in the notion of a handout, but rather a hand-ups method of aid that would have an everlasting, long term effect on the communities we serve. The only way I see to do this is through education.”
The scholarship application is featured on the Knowledge Aid website. “At the end of the day, I am so fortunate to be completing my journey in college and I want to make sure others, refugees like me---get the same opportunity. It’s all about doing our part.”

Knowledge Aid, an educational foundation founded in 2010 by Awet Woldegebriel, supports the education of people in impoverished nations around the world. The organization provides scholarships and books to students who originate from war-torn countries. Knowledge Aid has facilitated sending more than 4,565 books to Africa. For more information on Knowledge Aid, please visit

For more information, contact:
Awet Woldegebriel (404) 775-1570

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Knowledge Aid Foundation
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Tags:Atlanta, Eritrea, Refugee, American Dream, East Africa
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Location:Atlanta - Georgia - United States
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