But Yared Wolde�s visit to our shores and the story of his youth is one that drills home the reality for many across the world.
Living in Ethiopia�s capital city Addis Ababa, Mr Wolde was just six years old when war and illness left him as the sole survivor of a family of five.
The next three years were spent living alone in a large pipe on the side of the road.
�At that age I had very little understanding of what the future held,� he said.
�I was only concerned with day to day survival. It was really scary and cold; not a pleasant life at all.
�If you had a blanket to keep you warm, the bigger boys would come and take it from you. There was constant harassment from dogs and other street kids.�
Mr Wolde spent the three years working odd jobs, including carrying goods at local markets, before he caught a break.
When he was nine he was accepted into an orphanage where he befriended Australian charity worker Jacqui Gilmour.
The pair became a strong team, with Ms Gilmour employing him as an interpreter and calling on him to help found Hope for Children in 2004.
The charity delivers education, health and livelihood programs to Ethiopian communities.
But Mr Wolde was driven for more and in 2009 he founded the School of St Yared, providing an education to bright children in desperate circumstances.
The school has become a success, educating close to 200 of Ethiopia�s poorest children.
Mr Wolde is currently in Australia on a month-long tour aiming to raise further money for the school and increase its profile.
In WA he will visit Santa Maria College, Penrhos College, Hammond Park Primary and Yidarra Catholic Primary School, which have helped.
For information visit www.schoolofstyared.com or visit the Facebook page.