Last night at MRC we had 25 participants and 5 awesome volunteers! Participants were from Bhutan, Iraq, Congo, Burundi, Ethiopia and Tanzania. In our job skills we offered one on one assistance with creating resumes and filling out online job applications. 10-year old Sifan from Ethiopia and a master at the comptuer was right at home when teaching others that were unfamiliar with the computer.
In our sewing class, participants created traditional clothing and enjoyed the community of being with one another. This is why we do what we do but tonight was extra special. A new refugee family from Tanzania was brought to the center by their neighbors- an Iraqi refugee family who had been here for at least a year. The family from Tanzania had only been there for 2 days and were still jet-lagged and exhausted from the journey. They didn’t speak any English and the mother was pregnant and had 4 small children including a baby. The other women from Congo and Burundi embraced her immediately and spoke her familiar language. One of the women untied the baby from the mother’s back and onto her own back as if it were her own and gave the mom a break. This woman now already has a sense of community and familiar faces after just arriving.
This is true community and the opportunity for reconciliation at work–by bringing people together from diverse cultures and working together for a common purpose that benefits all. These are important components of the MRC vision.