For immediate release
April 16, 1999
KOSOVO TEENAGER WHOSE E-MAIL LETTERS WERE FEATURED ON NPR REMAINS IN WAR ZONE
Family Is "In the Pursuit of Some Degree of Safety," She Tells American Friend
WASHINGTON, DC — As military action intensifies, the young woman in Kosovo whose e-mail letters were featured on NPR's® Morning Edition® remains trapped with her family deep within the war zone. Finnegan Hamill, the California teenager with whom 16-year-old "Adona" has corresponded since January, spoke with her by phone on Tuesday night. It was the first time he was able to get through to her in nearly two weeks.
Hamill is a reporter for Youth Radio, an award-winning radio training and production group for teens based in Berkeley. His latest report aired today on NPR's Morning Edition with Bob Edwards. All five of his reports are available at NPR Online — www.npr.org.
"She and her family tried numerous times to leave the country but the borders were blocked and an exit was impossible," said Hamill. "They have been moving from house to house, staying with different people, in the pursuit of some degree of safety." Water and electricity are available intermittently and food purchases require a two to three hour wait in line.
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. Hamill 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 and NPR Online.
Because of the dangerous circumstances in which Adona is living, she is using a pseudonym and her exact location is not being disclosed.
Youth Radio will continue to update "E-mails from Kosovo" on NPR's Morning Edition and at NPR Online. Tapes and transcripts are available upon request.
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 award-winning programs such as Morning Edition®, All Things Considered®, NPR's Performance Today® and CarTalk.