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Funeral for teenage drowning victim, a recently arrived refugee, set for Saturday

A funeral, burial and reception will take place Saturday for the 15-year-old boy who drowned at Quinn’s Pond last week, and his family is welcoming the community in keeping with Congolese tradition.

Dieudonne Eca drowned Friday evening. He had arrived in the United States on July 5 after spending more than 10 years in a refugee camp. Dieudonne came to Boise after he and his family fled the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

“Dieudonne’s family and the International Rescue Committee in Boise have been amazed and thankful for this community’s ongoing, heartfelt support,” Julianne Donnelly Tzul, Boise’s executive director of the International Rescue Committee, wrote in an email. “Thank you for showing compassion and care to this family in a time of such tragedy.

“Planning a funeral is a daunting task made all the more difficult when you are a stranger in a new land. Donors such as yourself have made it possible to plan a culturally appropriate funeral, burial, and celebration of life for Dieudonne.”

Dieudonne’s family issued this statement, “My son was Eca (our family), my son was Bembe (tribe), my son was Congolese, my son was African, my son was human.”

Funeral services and a viewing will be held from 9-11 a.m. at Calvary Chapel, at 123 South Auto Drive. The burial will take place at 11:30 a.m. at Morris Hill Cemetery. A reception will be held at 1 p.m. at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, at 3200 Cassia St.

Further information can be found at the IRC’s website: https://www.rescue.org/announcement/honoring-dieudonne.

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