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hemm217 4 years ago
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Bantu tutoring center helping refugees Marian Hossa Jersey learn English Patrick Sharp Blackhawks Jersey

In the living room of a ground floor apartment on Elizabeth Street, Somali Bantu refugee Omar Awes, 29, stands in front of a white board with a marker in his hand. They repeat after him as he points to words on the board: my name is Fatuma. Why are you here today? Patrick Kane Blackhawks Jersey Because I have appointment with my doctor. five bedroom apartment is home to the newly opened Somali Bantu Tutoring Center, an effort of the Mohawk Authentic Patrick Kane Jersey Valley Somali Bantu Community Association. The goal of the center is to give the Bantu refugees a start on English education so they can succeed in public English as a Second Language courses. with the basics could be the motto for the entire organization. don have chairs; we don have desks, said Sidi Mwalimu, 28, the center executive director. don have any supplies. said the center has been in the works for the past five years, but gained traction in the spring when it became a 501c3 charitable organization. In November, the group gathered enough money, $650, to pay for the first month rent. chance a tour of the center, Mwalimu opens the first bedroom door. Everyone is on the carpeted floor. She learned English during the 14 years she spent in a United Nations refugee camp in Kenya.

Page 2 of 2 She speaks five languages Kizigua, Maymay, Somali, Kiswahili and English. Without a translator or a child who can interpret, women have trouble with access to basic services, such as doctor visits. But there are loftier reasons to embrace English and American culture. we came here, the women are free, she said. are here to encourage them to be free. Mohawk Valley Resource Center for Refugees helped place 250 Bantu in the area between 2003 and 2005. The center has provided some incubator space to Bantu Patrick Sharp Jersey community organizers but Marian Hossa Blackhawks Jersey had little to do with the tutoring center. me, it amazing to watch how communities adapt to their new environment, he said. as a community in Utica, whenever we can, try to support that; it critical. have a lot of people who are on public assistance, he said. want to improve. These people are unable to do this because of the language barrier. hoping the larger community will see the value of the center and donate money, books or other supplies. That started happening, Mwalimu said, but the center needs at least $2,500 a month to pay the bills. really happy to do this, he said. to keep this place running we need help.

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