Since Ruth and I have moved to Wyoming, away from Fidel, it’s not as easy to stay up to date with all Fidel’s goings on. Of course, even if we were there in Boise with him, it would still be tough because he’s just so active.
I had the pleasure to spend 30 minutes on the phone with him late last week. He shared all sorts of news with me, some fabulous, some just great, and some less great. He also made a request that I immediately said I’d honor.
I’ll start with his request. Unbeknownst to me Fidel has been collecting video’s of poetry readings, speeches and award presentations and has started posting them to YouTube. He asked if I’d mention them in this website. After slapping myself on my forehead I said yes. There is no better way for you to understand who Fidel is than to let you see and hear him for yourself. The previous post is the video of Fidel accepting an award from Boise’s Mayor for becoming a US citizen and for his contributions to the refugee community in Boise. I’ll post some more videos directly in line here in the near future and will setup links to them all very soon. If you can’t wait – just go to YouTube and search for Fidel N Nshombo.
Maintaining the theme of his contributions to the refugee community, in September, for the second year in a row, Fidel is going to the Annual UNHCR Refugee Congress in Washington DC. This year, however, he’s going as one of only 9 refugee delegates across the country. Last year he represented Idaho. This year he’s been elected to represent the entire Northwest Region. Having witnessed his ability to articulate the plight of refugees first hand, I’m not surprised that he’s been given this honor, but I sure am proud and happy for him. When he returns I’m sure he’ll have stories, and more videos, to share.
Of course, Fidel’s principle focus, above his community work, above College, and even above his own personal needs, is working to get his family out of Uganda. His Mom and Dad have completed the initial phase of the resettlement process but are now being asked to pay $1,500.00 US in order to continue to the next phase. It is unclear who it is that’s asking for money but it is not the UNHCR. Unf0rtunately, corruption is relatively common in many countries in Africa and it appears that is what we’re up against. Refusal to pay will most likely mean, simply, that they don’t leave Uganda. If you’ve read previous posts you know it’s very difficult for them to get jobs as Congolese refugees living in Uganda, so the money has to come from Fidel. That’s on top of the money for housing, food and school for the kids. Net/Net – Fidel and BoiseToBukavu need money. Please, click on the Donate button, or buy a book, and help us help Fidel raise that money.
Ok – ending on a high note. There’s a huge and happy change in Fidel’s future. He’s engaged to a beautiful woman whom he’s met in some of his travels over the last couple years. She’s also a refugee, resettled to Minneapolis, Minnesota, and is from the same village he’s from in Bukavu, Congo. I’ll wait to get clearance from him before I post anything else but I will say that he’s very excited and happy.
Until next time…..