For immediate release
March 30, 1999

KOSOVO TEENAGER WHOSE E-MAIL LETTERS WERE FEATURED ON NPR REMAINS IN WAR ZONE

Latest Report from Youth Radio Will Be Featured Wednesday on NPR's Morning Edition and at NPR Online

WASHINGTON, DC As Serbian and NATO military action escalates, the young woman in Kosovo whose e-mail letters were featured on NPR's ® Morning Edition® remains deep within the war zone. Finnegan Hamill, the California teenager with whom "Adona" has corresponded since January, spoke with her by phone for the first time on Monday night. Hamill is a reporter for Youth Radio, an award-winning radio training and production group for teens based in Berkeley.

Hamill's latest report will air Wednesday, March 31, on NPR's Morning Edition. It will also be available at NPR Online (www.npr.org.)

Hamill reports that Adona is eager to leave the country. With fighting nearby, she remains in hiding with her family while hoping to find a safe path out of the country. Conditions continue to deteriorate; food is scarce and running water has been intermittent since the weekend. Without electricity, she is no longer able to send messages by e-mail or receive news on radio or television. The family is trying to stay together at all costs though they are now contemplating splitting up in search of safety.

The correspondence between the two teenagers began earlier this year when Hamill, a high school student in Berkeley, heard about Adona at a church youth group meeting. Finnegan brought the e-mails to Youth Radio where he worked with a team of producers and young people to bring this story to NPR's Morning Edition. The pieces have generated an outpouring of support and interest from the public.

Because of the dangerous circumstances in which Adona is living, she is using a pseudonym, her letters are being read for radio broadcast by someone else, and her location is not being disclosed.

Youth Radio will continue to update "E-mails from Kosovo" on NPR's Morning Edition and at NPR Online.

National Public Radio®, a membership organization of 608 public radio stations across America, is radio's leading provider of high-quality news, information, and cultural programming. NPR is the producer and distributor of such noted programs as All Things Considered®, Talk of the Nation®, Performance Today®, and Car Talk®.