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SOMALI WOMEN AND CHILDRENS ALLIANCE
May 24, 2010

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.

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

witnessing upset women and families who come to the Alliance for help. I have seen staff members work for hours and days to help find answers to very difficult problems and provide ongoing support for the women and families.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

find ways to stabilize the funding sources.

More feedback

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

getting to know the staff, volunteers and the clients. They have been very welcoming, helpful and appreciative.

The kinds of staff and volunteers that I met were...

dedicated, caring, good natured and fun to work with.

If this organization had 10 million bucks, it could...

expand it's help to the immigrant and refugee women and families in the community to become fully integrated into the local community faster and safer. Housing, jobs, good health care, education and citizenship could be dealt with in a systematic way.

Ways to make it better...

I knew the language.

In my opinion, the biggest challenges facing this organization are...

unstable funding sources, a lack of understanding within the Columbus community about the Somali population, culture, language, religion, and basic needs and a need for a wider support base.

One thing I'd also say is that...

the Somali Women and Children's Alliance continues to provide caring help despite difficult funding times.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010

MY ROLE:
Volunteer & I have helped write grants and was the secretary of the Board.