In February 2000, Sasha Chanoff, the leader of a refugee rescue team in the Congo, made a bold decision to defy protocol by bringing Rose Mapendo and her nine children back to the United States even though they were not on the authorized list of those fortunate enough to be rescued from the slaughter of Congo's civil war.
Chanoff and Mapendo have since become a tremendous team, helping more than 4,600 forgotten and threatened refugees escape to freedom in America. Through Chanoff’s Cambridge-based nonprofit, Mapendo International, refugees from Sudan, Kenya and Burundi have been relocated, and more recently, over 100 survivors of a massacre in the Congo have been resettled in New England.
Goodwin Procter has provided significant pro bono counsel to Mapendo International, with valuable leadership assistance from Bill Mayer and Diane Currier. Since August 2007, 12 Goodwin partners, associates and paralegals have spent more than 200 hours working for our client.
Mapendo International was recently featured in a Boston Globe cover story, and Rose Mapendo was honored in Washington, D.C. by the United Nations refugee agency’s U.S. office as “humanitarian of the year.” Refugee activist Angelina Jolie was there to show her support.