MEDIA ADVISORY: African
family reunites at Logan Airport May 18
Contact: Erika Mantz
UNH Media Relations
May 13, 2005
EDITORS: If you are planning to cover, please contact Erika Mantz
at (603) 862-1567 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
WHAT: Students at the University of New Hampshire and members
of local charity Danny’s Team join Mariana Bitondo Mwisimbwa
as she reunites with her husband and four children after being
separated for nearly five years because of political violence in
WHEN: Wednesday, May 18, 2005. The family will arrive on an Ethiopian
Airlines flight at 2:30 p.m.
WHERE: Boston’s Logan Airport, international terminal.
BACKGROUND: The Committee on Rights and Justice (CORAJ), a group
consisting of UNH students and faculty as well as community members,
has been working since January to raise the more than $5,000
needed to bring Mariana Bitondo Mwisimbwa’s husband and
four children to the United States thanks to fundraising concerts,
community donations and a loan from Danny’s Team. Fundraising
efforts continue. Anyone wishing to make a donation can mail
a check to Danny's Team, P.O. Box 606, Durham, NH 03824.
Five years ago Mwisimbwa fled the Congo after being raped, tortured
and imprisoned because her law firm represented a member of the
political opposition. She was granted political asylum in 2001,
and has been working since then as a machine operator at a Manchester
factory so she could support her family while they waited for visas.
Her husband was unable to find work after her political trouble.
Mwisimbwa was highly respected as a legal secretary, and hopes
to improve her English and find ways to retrain in her field once
her family is settled.
In anticipation of her family’s arrival, Mwisimbwa moved
into a three-bedroom apartment in Manchester last week, and five
trucks went into four states over two days to collect items donated
to the family to help furnish the apartment.