Since 2003, we have traveled four times to Ethiopia under the auspices of the United Nation’s High Commission for Refugees to perform in refugee camps and orphanages. On our first trip in 2003, we were introduced to “an angel,” Mahary Maasho, the public information officer for the UNHCR. We developed a very deep and loving relationship of mutual respect with Mahary, a man totally dedicated to his work of relieving the suffering of his fellow country men and women and serving the refugee guests his extraordinarily generous country has hosted for twenty-five years.
Ethiopia is surrounded by warring countries with millions of refugees pouring in from Sudan, Somalia and Eritrea over the past twenty-five years.
Mahary has taken us to all of the refugee camps–sometimes traveling in a UN Land Rover for two weeks at a time performing three or four shows a day in camps with 25-40 thousand refugees. We would sleep in the UN compound within the camp and in the evenings perform for the staff, an international group of dedicated workers from Bangladesh, Bosnia, France, U.S.A. Nigeria and every other country around the world. These are workers who are among the thousands of UNHCR staff who care for the almost 50 million externally and internally displaced refugees around the world. Through Mahary’s dedication and energy we performed for hundreds of thousands of refugees over the years.