[Dear Friend of The Africa Fund: This is a time of great drama on the public stage in southern Africa …]
by Jennifer Davis, The Africa Fund
New York, New York, United States
The Africa Fund
The mailing says Namibia is free, the ANC and the South African government have held talks, the South African police have helped Gatsha Buthelezi's Inkatha movement attack ANC supporters. The mailing say as critical as these events are, we are also still concerned with the very personal emergencies faced by southern African refugees living in the U.S. - some hope to go home soon, but many still need our help as they face the many emergencies that can beset strangers living precariously in a foreign land. The mailing says one morning recently a South African refugee who has a fellowship at New York University came into our office; he was behind on his rent and short on money for food but that wasn't what was worrying him; his son was very ill in Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston; he felt it was vital that he visit him. The mailing says this man is just one of hundreds of Africans in the U.S. who face similar problems every year; The Africa Fund is one of the very few places they can turn. The mailing says a young Namibian woman contacted us from Georgia; she had escaped ahead of the South African police at the age of 14, after leading student protests in her high school; she told us how excited she was because Namibia was finally free just as she had completed her studies at Georgia Tech; she was eager to go home and the United Nations had a program that would pay her plane fare; all she had to do was go to Washington D.C. to apply in person and be interviewed; but since she barely had enough money to live on, there was no way she could get there; we were able to give her a grant so that she could travel to Washington and then return to Georgia and collect her belongings before going home to Namibia. The mailing says an exiled South African artist came to us as soon as he was released from the hospital where he had been treated for a heart ailment; the medication prescribed cost $156 - money he just didn't have; fortunately we were able to help; I'm pleased to be able to report that not only has his health improved but his work was recently shown in a special exhibition honoring Nelson Mandela. The mailing says I recently heard from a Namibian graduate student who is completing a PH.D. in mineral economics at the University of Arizona; he wrote that "this training will be of immeasurable value to my country and its people"; he has a scholarship which will start in September but was requesting help to get through July and August; I was especially happy that we were able to provide some assistance, because his knowledge of mineral economics will be urgently needed in Namibia where the South Africans trained no black specialists. The mailing says your contribution to The Africa Fund means that these stories had happy endings.
Used by permission of Africa Action (successor to The Africa Fund).
Collection: William Minter Southern Africa Papers