Helping ONE Family Reunite

"Once a refugee has received asylum in the United States, she may apply for travel visas so that her spouse and children can settle in this country. These travel visas are valid for a limited time during which refugees must scramble to raise funds for the one-way plane tickets. When a refugee is unable to raise money, the travel visas expire and the family remains separated, sometimes permanently. Too many families are kept apart because the costs of one way plane tickets are prohibitive. All too often, spouses and children remain stranded in the most war-torn, devastated areas of the world."

-The Refugee Reunification Project

Hi everyone, I want to take a pause in regular programming to tell you about a very special fundraiser being held by my sister, Uzo. In 2006, Uzo's law firm, through a referral from Human Rights First, took on a pro bono case helping to get asylum for an east African refugee. Theo is a master craftsman and basket weaver (attached photos are his work) but more than simply weave baskets, he formed a union of artisans, organized workshops, fairs, and sought training for member artisans. The union caught international attention and began to receive invitations to international craft forums and seminars. The union’s large membership and its success and financial gains from sale of arts and crafts at such conferences also attracted unwanted political attention. After being attacked and brutalized by government thugs, Theo, with the help of his fellow artisans, had to immediately flee his home country leaving behind his wife and children who he has not seen for five years. After a long and arduous road to legalization, Theo finally has the chance to reunite with his family but even with two jobs, the costs of the airline tickets are still prohibitive. With time running out, this fundraiser is aimed to help Theo raise the needed funds.


(1) DONATE via PAYPAL through International Institute of New Jersey (IINJ) website (please include in the instruction to seller a note that says “THEO’S FUND”)



A generous donor has already pledge to match every dollar donated meaning for every dollar you donate, $2 will go toward the reunification of Theo's family. Throughout the campaign, Theo's baskets will be raffled off to donors.
(Photos: Uzoamaka Okoye)

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