For current videos and Day 16 Part 2 please go to youtube and write -nkazi hunger strike.
(She is no longer on hunger strike as most of the needs were met).
Dear Leslie Linthicum:
I enjoy your "Up Front" articles so much and I was hoping you might help bring an awareness to a story here in Albuquerque. In some ways this is a local story and in other ways it is a national story. Because of the droughts, wars, genocide, and disparity in many of the African countries, a large number of African refugees have been coming to the US. Here in Albuquerque, I have had the privilege of working with some of the children of these refugee families in my Kids Club, an after school Bible Study program at La Mesa Presbyterian Church on Wednesday evenings. Their participation is arranged through the services of Nkazi (pronounced Gazi) and Lungile Sinandile, two hard working, charitable volunteers to the displaced African Community. Hundreds of these African families have come to NM via Catholic Charities of the Archiocese of Santa Fe.
La Mesa church has done what it can to help - clothing, food, furniture, financial help when available, etc. But there are much larger problems that we cannot deal with alone and it really will take the village of Albuquerque to help. I am aware that other states (such as Minnesota) have managed to do a better job with integrating their African refugees. New Mexico could learn a lot from them.
Now, Mama Nkazi (a woman in her sixties) has taken on a hunger strike, feeling it a last-ditch effort to get the media to take notice and to get the Albuquerque community to improve the plight of the African refugees, especially their women and children. Nkazi's friends are trying to help her find more constructive ways of dealing with the problem, but she has been working on this problem for years and the media, she says, has turned a deaf ear and a blind eye. Daily she goes to the Singing Arrow Park, which is near the African Refugee housing project, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., hoping some media will come to take her story and bring the story to the city, the state, the nation. I fear that if the media does not do something soon and if the community does not rally to help that she will not last long on a hunger strike. I do not wish for this dear woman to die and am doing the only thing I know to do to help.
To learn more about Nkazi Sinandile and the African Refugees and her attempts to help them survive, you can see their website: http://southafricanorionduet.com/about_us and she is the woman on the top right. She can also be reached directly by calling 505-435-5741
WHO: Nkazi Sinandile (Hunger Striker) Founder - Women’s Global Pathways –NM - Women’s Global Pathways-NM elps refugee and other immigrant women adjust to their new life in New Mexico. We assist women in transition from welfare to “self help” by providing a nurturing environment while helping create entrepreneurial businesses. Current participants are from Bhutan, Eritrea, Somalia, Burundi, Congo, Iraq, Iran, and Mexico.
Refugee Conditions in New Mexico: ”As a member of ‘International District’I have decided to resort to a Hunger Strike to raise awareness of the plight of refugees living in Albuquerque; primarily women and their children; as well as immigrants from around the world. Women often carry the heaviest burden of survival for themselves and their families.