For immediate release
May 21, 1999

KOSOVO TEENAGER WHOSE E-MAIL LETTERS WERE FEATURED ON NPR LEAVES FAMILY IN SEARCH OF SAFETY

WASHINGTON, DC - "Adona", the young woman in Kosovo whose e-mail letters have been featured on NPR®, will separate from her family in a search for safety. Finnegan Hamill, the California teenager with whom 16-year-old Adona has corresponded since January, spoke with her by phone this week. He reported on his conversation today on NPR's Morning Edition® with Bob Edwards. The report is available at NPR Online - www.npr.org.

"She knows no one can help while she is still in Kosovo," said Hamill, "so I'm not surprised that Adona's family has made the wrenching decision to split up for now." While Adona and her older sister will set out on their own for the border, her parents and younger brother will remain in Kosovo.

Calling from what she termed an "illegal telephone" that is presumably monitored by Yugoslav authorities, Adona refused to provide details on her current location or why she is still in Kosovo. She did reiterate that she hopes to come to the United States to continue her education however. Because of the dangerous circumstances in which Adona is living, she is using a pseudonym.

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, an award-winning radio training and production group for teens based in Berkeley. where he worked with a team of producers and young people to bring this story to NPR's Morning Edition and NPR Online.

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. A guide to help teachers use these pieces in the classroom is available at NPR Online as well.

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®, Talk of the Nation®, Performance Today® and CarTalk.