are so very happy to forward these recent professional pictures to each
of you, showing the fine Kilozo family we have been supporting these
past eight months (since March 11, 2016).
Jeanne Etunyemye; Father, Fahizi Msimbwa; and the Kilozo children:
daughter, Marie (13); son, Cyprien (12); daughter, Masoka (8); daughter,
Neema (6); daughter, Hasha (4); son, Matendo (2); and newly born –
American citizen – Emanuel (September 7, 2016) are happy and well, with
the children learning English at a fast pace. Indeed, we have received
good reports from the schools. We admire the family for their eagerness
to learn and positive attitude which contribute to their progress. The
support of the schools (Waddell Elementary and Lylburn Downing Middle)
has been incredible – from students to teachers, to the top of school
administration. They have also received strong support from our local
universities and numerous volunteers as they provided ESL (English
Second Language) and translation assistance. Indeed, translation support
has been ever so critical in the initial months, but we are now moving
toward total immersion in English.
of this would have been financially possible without the full support
of Social Services, the health services and the Church World Service
(the channel that we used to find this family) and the many
contributions from individuals – most of you, the readers of this
has received wonderful care from the medical community. Her Pre-natal
care and delivery at LewisGale Hospital was excellent.
Fahizi has several jobs. Kroger’s, Napa Thai restaurant, ProCleaning Service have each worked to make his experience doable.
just a word about the funds they are receiving. There are several
acronyms we could mention; but one in particular is descriptive of where
we are headed, i.e., VIEW. Virginia Incentive for Employment not Welfare
tells it all. Fahizi has every intention of becoming self-sustaining.
Welfare is keeping them alive, but it’s not an objective – only a stage.
And to another point. We have recently put
some of our surplus to very good use in the community. We know that it
has been a concern for some that while we assist this family, we not
neglect our own local people. What we have been doing, forming teams and
procedures for helping others can be replicated as we reach out to so
many other friends in need.
the beginning, we have had a leadership team, nearing some thirty
dedicated women and men each eager to help – helping even before being
asked. This team has done so very much such as cleaning in getting ready
to receive the family in the later hours of that chilly night last
March, cooking their first meals, teaching our American ways, taking the
whole family to fit donated clothing, accompanying them to a myriad of
appointments signing up for identification documents, constructing a
wonderful vegetable garden for the family’s use, etc., etc. The list is
very long, to be sure, more than space allows!
strategic plan is the be reasonably sure that the Kilozo family is on a
trajectory for self-sufficiency before receiving a next refugee family
for re-settlement. Our goal has been to settle three families – to give
each a feeling of community as they move toward becoming contributing
We’re getting there, with your continuing help and support.
With thanks and deep appreciation,