"The Somali Women and Children's Alliance located inside of the Global Mall in Columbus, Ohio is a great resource for anyone, particularly immigrants, in the area. They provide many services, including free ESL classes to immigrants learning English. The staff is very friendly, knowledgeable, and willing to help all that come in. This is certainly a great organization that deserves to be recognized".
Currently I assist with the ESL course in SWCA. I visit two times a week. Working with the Director and Somali community has been a very rewarding experience for me. Everyone has been so hospitable and generous. One time after teaching the ESL class, a student decided to give me a bracelet and said "Thank you." The sincere and concern that the staff show for all who come to them for assistance is truly amazing.
I have been a tutor for the morning Adult ESL class since February, 2009. We meet Monday thru Thursday for approximately 3-4 hours, all year round. We also have an after school program for children. This summer we shall have a children's program again as we did last summer. I was amazed to see the art work the young people created. During the summer we have youth that attend the adult class as well. Some of the youth are able to assist the adults with their school work, which is a good experience for the adults and the youth. The Somali Women and Children's Alliance not only provides ESL but also many types of assistance to those in need. We have helped troubled youth, assisted single mothers and new immigrants with transportation to and from our classes. We assist in arranging appointment and providing transportation when necessary. I personally assisted one young man and his family who had only been in the country for 4 months. We provided necessary support to adapt to our culture which included obtaining a job, keeping appointments, getting a drivers license, understanding bills, etc. This has been a very rewarding experience for me. I enjoy working with the Directors because of their sincere concern for all who come to them for assistance. Even more, I enjoy the Somali Community and other Africans who have attended my class. I have watched their achievements for the last year with great pride.
This organization helps women, men and children who are immigrants from East Africa to make their transition to life in the United States easier and more productive. I have seen first hand the way that SWCA helps new residents learn the language, negotiate with agencies, celebrate their culture and provide mutual assistance.
I have been a volunteer for the past two years for the Somali Women & Children’s Alliance in Columbus, Ohio. Somali immigrants in Columbus have grown from 20 families in 1996 to over 65,000 with more arriving every day. I have seen first hand this small grass roots organization work to equip women, children and families new to the United States to become self-sufficient and integral members of the greater community The dedicated staff and volunteers provide educational support, youth mentoring, job skills, employment training, ESL classes, and interpretation skills to interface with mainstream agencies. Their case management deals with a wide variety of social issues including domestic violence, human trafficking, mental health, housing, children with special needs, employment discrimination, health and culture. This is an organization that provides critical support to women and children who are particularly vulnerable. The staff and volunteers provide a safe haven that values and understands the language, culture and religion of their clients and are able to interface with other agencies to find the help and fairness. The work of these dedicated individuals never fails to amaze and inspire me.