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INVITATION: Mashujaa Day celebrations happening this Saturday in Atlanta, GA

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BY ERIC ERICSSON

The annual Mashujaa (Heros) Day celebrations are happening this Saturday October 19, 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia ADDRESS:

585 Franklin Gateway SE, Marietta, GA

This is our ANNUAL HEROES NIGHT where we come together to honor our local Hero’s, Youth & Heritage over a meal and great Friends. Thx.

Our KEYNOTE SPEAKERS this year are our very own Karen GITAU & Salome SADERA who are both running for the Kennesaw & Acworth City Council respectively. They are both great and brave Ladies and we can’t wait to hear what their agendas are and a message of celebrating & embracing diversity.

We have some amazing Awards to be presented this year to very deserving nominees. Headlining the Entertainment is the Great Mercy Myra and Lady Z.

The Food and Entertainment has promised to be top notch and this time we shall be Partying till the wee hours of the morning so bring your dancing shoes.

Red Carpet Pictures & Videography will be happening all Night long – Be sure to bring a friend to the biggest & most fun Annual Party in Atlanta. This is our EVENT and you’re ALL Welcome.

Get your TICKETS.

See you ALL soon.

READ ALSO:   MULTIPLE IMAGES: Atlanta Mashujaa Day festival in pictures

 

 

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Diaspora

VIDEO: Pomp and colour as Kenyan journalist receives coveted award in Washington DC

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It was pomp and colour in Washington DC on Thursday as Kenya’s NTV journalist Rose Wangui, the winner of the prestigious 2019 Knight International Journalism Award, received the coveted trophy.

Wangui was awarded for her bold approach in covering sensitive topics and giving a voice to the voiceless, bringing their plight, hopes and dreams to the wider audience.

Speaking at the award event, she pledged that she will carry on with her outstanding work, giving a voice to the voiceless through her unique coverage of sensitive topics such as sexual bondage of young girls in Kenya.

“Each time I tell a story, I try to ensure that every word that I write bears the hopes and dreams of those people in the villages, towns and slums who may never have the opportunity that I have to reach a bigger audience, ”stated Wangui.

Rose Wangui at the awards gala
Rose Wangui at the awards gala

The scribe challenged journalist to have an impact in the society through unique coverage.

“Journalists should strive to tell stories that change people’s perception and make society better,” added Wangui.

Her outstanding works such as beads of bondage and schools of misery have had significant impact in the country and sparked a national conversation, prompting relevant authorities and well-wishers to address the situation.

READ ALSO:   Mashujaa Day Gala event in Atlanta is happening this Friday

“I wanted to show viewers something they’ve never seen, something they’ve never had,” said Wangui. “I decided to focus more on human interest stories and to go to some of the most remote areas in Kenya.” Wanui revealed at a past interview.

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Diaspora

Suicide among Kenyan students in US reaches alarming levels

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They travel overseas to study but return not with degrees but in caskets.

Kenyan students going abroad for studies have been dying through suicide or under mysterious circumstances, which has left communities of Kenyans living in the US brainstorming on the need to hold the hands of learners who find themselves in the deep end outside their country.

Last week, the medical examiner’s office in Santa Clara, in the US state of California, confirmed that a top achiever in the 2013 national examinations lost her life through suicide.

POISONING

Norah Borus Chelagat, the fourth best student nationally in the Kenya Certificate of Secondary Education (KCSE) examination and the best girl in Nairobi, was found dead in her room at Stanford University on June 14.

She was at that time a master’s student at the university that she had joined in September 2014.

The Santa Clara medical examiner’s office told The Stanford Daily on Monday that the suicide was probably caused by poisoning.

The Stanford Daily said Norah’s was the fourth student death announced at the facility since February.

Then there is John Omari Hassan, a 26-year-old who in July drowned mysteriously in a pond in Baltimore, Maryland. That was four months after leaving Kenya for postgraduate studies in the US.

Baltimore County fire officials said people playing on a nearby basketball court heard someone yelling from the pond and ran over to help.

READ ALSO:   MULTIPLE IMAGES: Atlanta Mashujaa Day festival in pictures

SWIMMING

What shocked authorities was how the deceased ended up in the water as there were signs nearby warning against swimming in the pond. Hassan, who hailed from Nakuru, graduated from Kenyatta University in October 2016.

In August 2018, a Kenyan family had to seek help from well-wishers to bring back the remains of their kin who was found dead in her room in the US.

Patricia Miswa left Kenya in 2017 to pursue a master’s degree in Creative Writing at the University of Minnesota.

Her mother tried calling her but there was no response. She later called the hostel management who together with the police discovered Miswa’s lifeless body inside her room.

Before leaving for studies in the US, Miswa founded AfroElle magazine, which focused on uncelebrated women achievers.

Recently, students with Kenyan roots in the US have also lost lives in unclear circumstances.

INVESTIGATIONS

One of them is Eric Kang’ethe, a Computer Engineering student at the University of Massachusetts who died in mysterious circumstances early this month.

Kang’ethe’s body was found by police in a vehicle outside McGuirk Alumni Stadium on the evening of October 30. His death was described as “non-criminal in nature” by Mary Carey, communications director for the office of Northwestern District Attorney, which implied that the young man might have taken his life.

Massachusetts State Police said investigations surrounding his death are ongoing. According to local media, Kang’ethe was born in Nairobi and migrated with his family to the US.

READ ALSO:   Mashujaa Day Gala event in Atlanta is happening this Friday

There is also Gift Kamau, a 20-year-old student whose body was found floating in the Mississippi River on May 18.

Before the discovery, Kamau had been reported as missing by her parents. Police at the time believed she had committed suicide after a note was found.

The deaths involving young Kenyans in the US have perturbed Dr DK Gitau, a Kenyan-born resident of Atlanta, Georgia. For almost a year now, Dr Gitau has been chronicling deaths involving Kenyans.

RISING CASES

Under the theme ‘Diaspora Shattered Dreams’, Dr Gitau, a former architectural engineer-turned- community social philanthropist, not only announces the deaths but also helps in mobilising resources for funeral purposes using his vast networks in the US.

Dr Gitau called on the Kenyan community to find ways of preventing the rising cases of stress-related deaths among Kenyans living overseas.

“As a community that is increasing in numbers in America, we can’t normalise nor become numb to these escalating pre-mature deaths among our people. The starting point is, of course, to openly talk about factors that are causing stress among our people. Burying our heads in the sand and pretending that all is well won’t do it,” he told the Sunday Nation.

According to Dr Sam Oginde, a psychology professor at Neumann University in Chester, Pennsylvania, it will be easy to find a solution.
“Right now, three out of five reported deaths among Kenyans in the US are either out of domestic violence or are from stress-related suicides. The irony is, something can be done about this if only the community is ready and willing to open up and candidly discuss what is causing this,” he said.

READ ALSO:   MULTIPLE IMAGES: Atlanta Mashujaa Day festival in pictures

MENTAL WARFARE
“Our community is not unique. Other immigrant communities have gone through this and were able to deal with the issue because they were willing to seek solutions.”
In the psychologist’s opinion, young adults have become casualties of “mental warfare”.

“We are seeing a lot of this, especially among young college and career adults who have a family also living here in the US. Suicides and premature deaths are most rampant between the ages of 19 to 36,” he says.

In 2017, a documentary about Kenyans in the US shed light on some untold challenges Kenyans face as immigrants while living there.

Written and produced by Kaba Mbugua, the film showed many Kenyans, just like other immigrants, struggle to make ends meet. Challenges have at times led some, especially the youth, to fall into bad company, ending up in jail, in shelters for the homeless, being deported or even losing their lives.

By Chris Wamalwa, nation.co.ke.

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Diaspora

Application for US Citizenship fees set to increase to $1,440 from $640

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The Department of Homeland Security will publish a notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register to adjust the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Immigration Examinations Fee Account fee schedule.

For instance, the proposed fee for I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status is $1,140, up from $675.

Fees collected and deposited into the IEFA fund nearly 96% of USCIS’ budget. Unlike most government agencies, USCIS is fee-funded.

Federal law requires USCIS to conduct biennial fee reviews and recommend necessary fee adjustments to ensure recovery of the full cost of administering the nation’s immigration laws, adjudicating applications and petitions, and providing the necessary infrastructure to support those activities.

“USCIS is required to examine incoming and outgoing expenditures, just like a business, and make adjustments based on that analysis. This proposed adjustment in fees would ensure more applicants cover the true cost of their applications and minimizes subsidies from an already over-extended system,” said Ken Cuccinelli, acting director of USCIS.

“Furthermore, the adjudication of immigration applications and petitions requires in-depth screening, incurring costs that must be covered by the agency, and this proposal accounts for our operational needs and better aligns our fee schedule with the costs of processing each request.”

READ ALSO:   Mashujaa Day Gala event in Atlanta is happening this Friday

The rule proposes adjusting USCIS IEFA fee schedules by a weighted average increase of 21% to ensure full cost recovery. Current fees would leave the agency underfunded by approximately $1.3 billion per year.

The proposed fee rule accounts for increased costs to adjudicate immigration benefit requests, detect and deter immigration fraud, and thoroughly vet applicants, petitioners, and beneficiaries.

USCIS last updated its fee structure in FY 2017, by a weighted average increase of 21%.

For more information on USCIS and its programs, please visit uscis.gov or follow us on Twitter (@uscis), Instagram (/uscis), YouTube (/uscis), Facebook (/uscis), and LinkedIn (/uscis).

 

Here are the proposed Fees:

Form No.22 Title Fee
G-1041 Genealogy Index Search Request $65
G-1041A Genealogy Records Request $65
I-90 Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card $455
I-102 Application for Replacement/Initial Nonimmigrant
Arrival-Departure Document $445
I-129/
129CW Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker $460
I-129F Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) $535
I-130 Petition for Alien Relative $535
I-13123 Application for Travel Document $575
I-131A Application for Carrier Documentation $575
I-140 Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker $700
I-191 Application for Relief Under Former Section 212(c) of
the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA)24 $930
I-192 Application for Advance Permission to Enter as
Nonimmigrant $930/58525
I-193 Application for Waiver of Passport and/or Visa $585
I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission
into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal $930
I-290B Notice of Appeal or Motion $675
I-360 Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant $435
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust
Status $1,140
I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust
Status (certain applicants under the age of 14 years)26 $750

READ ALSO:   MULTIPLE IMAGES: Atlanta Mashujaa Day festival in pictures

 

Below are the current filing fees for some immigration benefits (as of November 8th, 2019):

  • Application for a Green Card (Form I-485): $1,225 (includes $85 biometrics fee) for applicants between the age of 14 and 78; $1,140 for those 79 and older or those under 14 and not filing with at least one parent
  • Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130): $535
  • Application for Citizenship (N-400): $725 (includes $85 biometric fee)
  • Application for Employment Authorization (I-765): $410
  • Application for a Travel Document (Form I-131): $660 (includes $85 biometric fee) for applicants between 14 and 79 years old; $575 for applicants 13 and younger, and for those 80 and older

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