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University of Iowa News Release

June 21, 2005

Congolese Independence Celebration To Benefit Immigrants July 2

The Congolese Mutuality of Iowa (MUCO) will celebrate the 45th anniversary of the Democratic Republic of Congo with a benefit Saturday, July 2 that will help raise funds for the estimated 300 Congolese immigrants living in Iowa City/Cedar Rapids area.

The community is invited to gain knowledge about the country, enjoy traditional food and witness lively dancing from 8 p.m. to midnight. The event will be at Old Brick Auditorium, 26 East Market St. in Iowa City and is co-sponsored by MUCO, UI International Programs and UI office of International Students and Scholars.

"The people here have links or bonds to the country. This event is a way of taking them back and reminding them of their country. It also gives their friends, classmates and colleagues an idea of where they come from and their culture and history," said Kashama Mulamba, a professor of English at Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. Mulamba will be the guest speaker at the event and is scheduled to discuss a brief history of the country, beginning at 8 p.m.

Guests will enjoy African dancing including the traditional Rumba and the more modern Ndombolo dance. Traditional Congolese food including, kwanga, fufu, chapatti, mbisi and pondu will be served at the event.

A donation of $10 for singles and $15 for couples will be collected at the door. For questions regarding tickets, please contact Honda Kahindo, coordinator of the event at 319-248-0109 or hkahindo@engineering.uiowa.edu.

Those who would like to support the cause but are unable to attend the benefit can send donations to the Congolese Mutuality, 2001 Union Rd, Iowa City, IA

52240. All proceeds raised from the event will go to benefit local Congolese immigrants with health care, housing, English lessons, driving, daycare and other needs.

For more information or special accommodations, contact MUCO President Peter Nkumu at 319-358-7895, pnkumu@uiccu.org, or Honda Kahindo at hkahindo@engineering.uiowa.edu.

UI International Programs consists of a number of offices, centers, degree programs, academic programs, research projects and services. Organized under the associate provost for academic programs and dean for International Programs, these units serve to further internationalize the campus and community and promote global scholarship, research, and teaching.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Services, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 371, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500.

CONTACT(S): Media: Lois Gray, 319-335-2026, lois-gray@uiowa.edu; Program: Peter Nkumu, 319-358-7895, pnkumu@uiccu.org; Writer: Kent Nguyen