This was our third year for our garden with 36 raised beds. We are grateful for all the volunteers, the 8 refugee students who were employed and mentored, and several youth groups who made our garden a success this year. All the vegetables were given freely to families in the community. 1,424 pounds of vegetables were harvested this year, up from 949 pounds in 2020.
Three different teams went weekly for two hours to do work in the garden and provide opportunities for relationship building, encouragement and mentoring. Thanks to Tom, Lydia, Katelyn, and Nick for their hard work and dedication picking up students and spending time with them, giving them a chance to earn some pocket money.
The students workers were: Ree, El too, Uredi, Pierre, Jacob, Desire, Mulumba, and Chance.
VISION & MISSION OF THE GARDEN
The vision of the Migros Aid Garden is that through gardening we can establish and grow relationships and empower the community to engage and learn skills to become self-sufficient. The mission of the Migros Aid Garden is to holistically mentor young people through part-time employment in the refugee community and to assist in feeding families by producing fresh produce.
Throughout the pandemic, so many in the community were asking each week when they could come to C.A.R.E. Club again. They were very excited when we were able to restart our weekly event in August!
One of our mantras at CARE club is “We care for you!” We believe many in the immigrant community need to be reminded of this on an ongoing basis and that so many of us want to see them succeed. Further, providing a consistent presence and routine is always important for those who have experienced trauma and instability to grow in resilience. Refugees from numerous religious backgrounds come to CARE club. Our goal is to provide a safe and secure space for refugees to share a meal, have conversations, nurture relationships, and enjoy activities.
Students who bring their homework can get help and adults who come have an opportunity to practice their English. Soccer games happen each week!
CARE CLUB Values:
Community | Empowerment | Connection | Transformation
CARE CLUB Vision:
Provide a consistent safe, secure environment for refugees to gather
Provide a hot, free, and healthy meal
Provide creative activities for children to engage with
Provide English conversation practice for adults
Provide tutoring to students who bring their homework
Provide community building through music, singing, and storytelling
Provide volunteers an opportunity to engage with multiple cultures and meet the refugee community
Please contact us if you are interested in preparing a meal or want to volunteer.
After a year and a half, we have restarted our Homework Club, our weekly tutoring! Students can bring homework one afternoon a week after school at the apartment complex where they live, and volunteers help them to complete it. If they finish early, we have extra books and games. Students need to bring homework and they will receive rewards after attending a certain number of times. They also receive a snack at the end of the time together. Most of the student’s parents do not speak English and unable to help them with simple assignments. Please contact us to help out
We recently had our 3rd back to school party and picnic in the community in early August. It was a successful event of food options from around the globe (prepared by refugee families) and pizza! The kids played soccer and we also had individuals sign up for services we offer for the year like English practice, food assistance, and assistance with homework.
Backpacks full of supplies were distributed to over 155 students in Kindergarten through High School in the refugee/immigrant community as they prepare to go back to school in-person. The supplies included masks, notebooks, writing utensils, and more. Everyone was excited to receive a new backpack! Thank you to those who supported this project and gave to make it possible.
A Migros Aid group was able to have the opportunity to participate in cleaning and preparing over 50 chickens at a local farm. The chickens were distributed to refugee families in the community.
“It was a fun experience and I was happy to give away the chickens to the people.” said one participant who is a refugee from Rwanda and has lived in Indianapolis for three years.
Continue reading “50 Chickens Processed and Donated to Community”
Twelve Migros students got to experience a week-long summer youth camp in Michigan in June. Eagle Church in Whitestown, IN provided camp scholarships for the Migros students and welcomed them into the church’s annual spiritual retreat for its middle and high school students. Migros Aid provided sleeping bags and spending money for the students to experience numerous recreational activities.
About 130 total students were at the youth camp. The Migros students formed new friendships and embraced many first-time experiences, such as horseback riding, archery, tubing, and a zip line, which challenged them and boosted their self confidence.
Continue reading “12 Students Experience a Summer Camp in Michigan”
The mission of Migros Aid says, “To create belonging among immigrants and refugees by facilitating transformative relationships through holistic mentoring.”
Migros Mentors serve in so many numerous ways. Some meet with a family or an individual on a regular basis. Some mentor a small group of teens in a weekly CARE group. Others help with needs as they arise, always helping find the best solution for needs. In May alone, 21 mentors gave 179 hours assisting 101 refugees in the community. Here are a few stories (but not all of them) of what Migros Mentors have been doing in recent months in 2021…
Continue reading “Enabling Self-Sufficiency and Transformation through Holistic Mentoring”
It is our belief that mentoring leads naturally to friendship. We all need friends to navigate through life and form connection and community. It is a foundational need for any human, no matter what language is spoken or religious background. This can be challenging for refugees who come to America due to language and cultural differences. Mohamad and Nisreen arrived in America in 2016 and got involved with Migros Aid before we even incorporated as an organization in 2017. They attended our weekly English Club and our weekly tutoring program called ‘Homework club”. Soon after they arrived, They have been active in our community garden for the two years we have had it. Tom and Wendy Langebartels became Migros Mentors to them in late 2016. Their families have become close friends and like family to each other sharing so many times together. Tom and Wendy have helped them learn English, find work, teach them how to drive, help them find a car to buy, navigate green card issues, apply and get accepted into a Habitat home and so many other things to list. Most importantly, they have been faithful friends. Tom and Wendy have put their Christian faith into action.
As Tom says, “Jesus said, ‘I was a stranger and you invited me in.’ We met Mohamad and Nisreen and tried to do just that and our lives have been changed because of the friendship we have developed with them.”
A Migros Mentor is someone who becomes a friend and may not be able to solve every problem or assist with every need but will be present in support and friendship along the way. Please contact us if you want to become a Migros Mentor to a refugee family.
MORE OF MOHAMMAD AND NISREEN’S STORY & BACKGROUND…
Continue reading “A Migration and Mentoring Story: Mohamad and Nisreen from Syria befriended by Tom and Wendy of Zionsville”
Throughout this year of a global pandemic, many have struggled to stay employed and pay rent- facing the real possibility of eviction. The immigrant, refugee communities comprise nearly 10% of the population of Marion County. So many in this population do not have other family members nearby or support systems like other Hoosiers.
Migros Aid, Inc. works with refugees throughout the city and has been serving a Muslim family who fled Syria and who have been in America since 2017. Their family of 7 live in a 3-bedroom apartment and nearly faced eviction due to COVID-19 and not being able to work in December.
Through the generosity of the Episcopal Diocese of Indianapolis, St. George’s Orthodox Christian Church, one individual, and Migros Aid, their December rent was paid. and help with their utility bills was provided.
When the body of Christ comes together to help and serve the least of these in our community, it is a beautiful thing and displays to the world what the church is all about.