“You are amazing,” said Joseph Deng.
“Thank you!" said Meira K. Meira Kowalski is an eighth grader at Shorecrest Prep in St. Pete.
Joseph Deng is a South Sudanese refugee, now an American citizen. What brought them together is packed in the back of an SUV.
"Bandaids,” said Meira. “It's super important over there,” she said.
Their unique friendship started with a school project. Meira shot a documentary on the 'Lost Boys of Sudan' - children forced to flee civil war. Children who grew up to be men. Her project may be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i8pbKS7skAE
"I didn't know barely anything about it. It just seemed interesting,” she said.
Joseph travels back to his village once a year bringing over the counter medicine. "This is a place with no nothing,” he explained. And Meira found out the Pinellas County nurse spends thousands of dollars of his own money on the mission.
"How do you take them? How do you pay for them? I say, I take them to the airport. They measure them and then I pay for them out of my own pocket. And she said, oh, you shouldn't be doing that! She said, I can help on that part,” said Deng.
So the 8th grader did.
"Each year there are so many lives lost just because people have a flu like symptom,” said Joseph Deng.
Joseph and Meira hope to make an even bigger difference one day.
"My goal is before I graduate is to help him build his clinic in South Sudan,” she said.
These friends were brought together by something so small. It turns out they have big hearts in common.
"I like helping other people and it's just cool to be able to be a part of this,” said Meira.
"I will never, never give up to do something good,” said Joseph Deng.
Find the ABC Action News story: http://www.abcactionnews.com/news/region-pinellas/unique-friends-send-hope-to-south-sudan-via-big-hearts