An incredible article on Regassa is here: http://www.denverpost.com/sports/ci_12447930
John Henderson wrote:"Ethiopia’s poverty doesn’t match those of surrounding East African countries, and many runners come from stable homes. However, Ethiopia’s running program makes some saves that make UNICEF proud. Take Regassa. When he was 3 years old living in the village of Nazret, his parents divorced and his mother left him with his father while she moved in with a son in Odana Nebe Dukem. His father died when he was 15 and showing promise as a runner. However, he could not move in with his mother. Odana Nebe Dukem is four to five hours away by walking. It is not accessible by car.
Instead, for three years he lived in the streets. He worked for a stone company and when hungry, he’d go to a local hotel where they’d give him food.
He developed stomach problems, which he continues to have, but local coaches told Makke’ about his promise. He found him last year living in the streets of Nazret. He hadn’t run competitively in five years, but the Ethiopian system put him in a hotel, fed him and trained him. In his first half-marathon, in Lille, France, last year, he ran a 59:34, nearly breaking the junior record.
“I have a car now,” said Regassa, who won $5,750. “I’m living in a rented home, and I’m about to buy a house. It’s a big difference.”"