Posted by: Robin A. Edgar | October 28, 2012

Mastaki Family Update

I have good news! Although the Mastaki family still faces many obstacles, through the generous support of many people, we are making progress towards our goals to help them find a safe place to live and work.

With the ongoing and increased danger and poor economic conditions in Goma, my friend, Riziki Mastaki, has been working with an immigration lawyer to bring her parents over as legal immigrants. After many set backs with lost mail and stolen items, her father now has his passport and the paperwork has been submitted for his visa to come to the United States. Along with friends, co-workers, and others who have heard about her plight, she has raised over $1,500 of the $2,000 needed for his travel to Kishasa and his plane fare to the US. Our hope is that the paperwork goes through in time for her father to arrive by the New Year!

Once he comes to the States, Riziki has lined up some potential job opportunities for her father to help her raise money to bring her mother to the states and to continue to provide aide to the rest of her family members who remain in Goma as well as the two sisters, two brothers, a brother-in-law and several nieces and nephews that have had to flee for their lives to Nairobi, Kenya.

Many of the Mastaki family in Kenya have finally been able to receive refugee paperwork and can therefore stand in line at the refugee camp each day for a bowl of rice and beans. However, they are still not permitted to work for pay, and rely on Riziki to send them $200 each month for simple housing while they wait for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to process their immigration as refugees to another country.

The Village Cooperative, a non-profit organization dedicated to uplifting impoverished communities in the developing world, set up a special fund earmarked to receive tax exempt donations for the Mastaki family members living in Kenya. The founder of The Village Cooperative brought those donations designated for the Mastaki family to them this July and will do so again in December. Her colleagues are also working on providing housing for some of them as soon as there is an opening in one of their communities.

Please join me in helping the Mastaki family find a safe place to live and work. Checks can be made out to
The Village Cooperative, (be sure to put “Mastaki Family Fund” in the memo) and sent to:
6055 N College Ave
Indianapolis, IN 46220

You can also donate by credit card online at http://www.experiencethevillage.com. Click the “donate” button in the top right corner. That will take you to their online donation through PayPal. Again, be sure to note that the donation is for the Mastaki Family Fund. As these donations come in, they will record the donor information and send out a tax exempt letter at the end of the year.

If you do not desire tax-exemptions for your donations or wish to help her family that still remains in the Congo, you may contact Riziki directly at rachelmastaki@yahoo.com.

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