Tikkun Olam: We are truly “Repairing the World” through our work with our refugee family from Afghanistan. And what a joy it is!
With strong support from the entire congregation the Good Neighbor Team has truly adopted the family as FAMILY. They collected donations, schlepped furniture, provided food, transportation, resume help, outings, shopping trips, English language tutoring, and lots and lots of love. Two Oseh members even lent them a car for a driving test.
They’ve made so much progress. The children have started school, and, because of tutoring provided over the summer, they have a more solid foundation to start their American education. We’re hoping that a spot will open up in the Pre-K program for the youngest child and that Mom can start regular ESL training while they’re all in school. Rather than waiting to get the IT professional job that he’s qualified for, Dad accepted a lower level job to provide an income. He is continuing to search for a better opportunity.
In the words of Melody Magnus, one of the volunteers, “Visiting is…a little like time travel. I feel like I am looking through this wonderful window and seeing what it must have been like for my great-grandparents when they first came. They spoke little English, and good jobs were hard to find, so they worked long hours in hard jobs. They lived in a crowded area with the comfort of having a community that spoke their language. Our family has an edge up on my ancestors, though. They have us. And thanks to the Oseh family, they have an apartment filled with furniture and a TV and computer to connect to the world outside and to learn from. They have school programs to help them, but they also have prejudice and religious intolerance to overcome, much as my ancestors did. It is sobering and exciting to help them live the American dream. We give them a gift, but they give one back.”
We’re continuing the help the family. If you know of an entry level IT job, please contact Sheila Urman at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’re still also looking for a donated car for them. This will provide more job opportunities and help them continue to acclimate to their new surroundings.
As Melody said, we’re helping achieve the “American Dream”.