I wish to recognize John Mpaliza Balagizi for his dedication to the issue of bringing awareness to what certain people in the Democratic Republic of Congo have to suffer in order to mine coltan which is indispensable for the construction of cell phones.
The people who work at the mines not only suffer severe health problems, but the gigantic business of selling this mineral to the mavericks who make our cell phones has caused war and conflict in the region.
John who is a refugee walked from Reggio Emilia in Italy, where he now lives, to the EU in Brussels and further up to Helsinki to bring awareness to his peoples plight.
He never took public transport, or even a lift, but trusted his endurance and the support of citizens on his long journey to give him a bed for the night and a chance with local communities and organizations to tell his story.


Liz king



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