BOISE - An outpouring of financial support from the community has made it possible for a family to plan a funeral for a 15-year-old who drowned in a Boise pond last week.
Dieudonne Eca was a refugee who had just arrived in Boise about two weeks before the accident. A spokesperson for the International Rescue Committee, told KTVB that Dieudonne and his family fled from the Democratic Republic of Congo after staying in refugee camps for several years.
On July 14, he was swimming with friends in Quinn's Pond when he suddenly went under the water. He was found about 20 minutes later, pulled from the pond and taken to a Boise hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
IRC spokesperson Julianne Donnelly Tzul said the family was concerned about being able to pay for the funeral and burial. An online fundraiser was set up, and raised more than $13,000 in just two days.
"Planning a funeral is a daunting task made all the more difficult when you are a stranger in a new land," Tzul said in an email. "Donors... have made it possible to plan a culturally appropriate funeral, burial, and celebration of life for Dieudonne."
Tzul said that in keeping with Congolese tradition, the services will be open to the public. She released a statement from the family that reads:
"My son was Eca (our family), my son was Bembe (tribe), my son was Congolese, my son was African, my son was human."
The ceremonies will take place on Saturday, July 22, beginning with a funeral service from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Calvary Chapel on South Auto Drive. Burial will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at Morris Hill Cemetery, and a reception will be held at 1 p.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Rose Hill Ward, on Cassia Street.
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