Abwe thought he was prepared to come to the US. He had trained as a nurse for the Red Cross and had experience working in microfinance and church ministry as well. He was smart, educated and adaptable. He felt ready for America and its challenges. But when he arrived, he discovered there was one key area where he was not prepared: language. For all his work experience and education, Abwe did not speak hardly any English. The cultural differences were also far bigger than he had expected. There was so much to learn and he felt so far behind.
That was when Abwe decided: as soon as he and his family were a bit more settled in the US, they would work to start a community center in the camp they had just left—Nyarugusu in Tanzania.
This community center would have a library with English books for all reading levels and a computer lab where refugees could access online English language programs to help them prepare for their journey to the US. His former church in the camp could spearhead the project and even recruit volunteer English tutors to help. All they needed was a little bit of funding to get started with construction and that’s where YOU come in.
Help Abwe and his former neighbors in Nyarugusu build their community center this holiday season in three ways:
1) Bring English books for all ages and reading levels to the Canopy office anytime Monday-Thursday 9 am- 4pm so that Abwe can ship them to Nyarugusu. The books will go in the same container as the clothes, toys and feminine hygiene products that Majidi and Rehema are collecting.
2) Consider donating to help cover the shipping cost and the cost of construction materials for the community center. The container will cost over $6,000 and the construction materials will cost $3,600. Abwe has already done a terrific job fundraising on his own and has gotten off to a great start, but this is going to take our entire community. Please consider giving what you can!
3) Share this post! This is a big dream and it’s going to take our whole community to make it happen. Help us get everyone involved.