Tina shares, “My husband and I have enjoyed being mentors to a brother and sister from Somalia. They and their mother have been in the U.S. since 2016. Another Migros mentor helped them obtain their green cards and get settled into the city. We came along a few years later in their journey and have enjoyed sharing our “middle class American” lives with them. Ping pong, Cracker Barrel, and seasonal decor are just a few bits of Americana that have been shared. Pictured above is me sharing my love of ice-cream cake as we celebrated the end of Farhiyo’s Ivy Tech class. The other picture is of Farhiyo sharing her talent of henna painting with me. We shared many laughs over the strange color the ink turned on my white skin! Being a mentor to a young adult has been rewarding and full of more laughs than I anticipated! “
There are other families in need and we are seeking more Migros Mentors like John and Tina.
Please contact us if you want to serve as a Migros Mentor.
Bryant shares, “I’ve been volunteering with Migros Aid for a little over a year. I’ve had the privilege of being a mentor- which means being a friend to a refugee family. I got to help my African friends get settled into a new place in Indianapolis, get registered for school & navigate some of the language barriers experienced in every day life. We spent a lot of time last summer just hanging out and sharing meals together. I even learned how to make fufu! It has been the hugest blessing. My family has a greater understanding of what it means to be a refugee in the United States. We’ve had the privilege of experiencing other cultures & truly helping the least of these. I had no idea some of the challenges they face & I’m so grateful my family and I have been able to help.”
Many refugee families move to Indianapolis after living in other parts of the United States for a short period of time. They usually move to Indianapolis because of the good job market or they know someone who lives here, as the family did in this mentoring relationship. Families like this loose all their support from other groups serving them in the initial city they were settled in. Through the work of Migros Aid, this family was able to get help and support that was greatly needed.
There are other families in need and we are seeking more Migros Mentors like Hannah.
Our efforts to continue to empower the next generation of refugee students will now be called Migros Academy. It will continue our five-year track record of our weekly Homework Club and mentoring of students, since our inception in 2017. Our goal is 25 students this next school year (2022-2023) We need your help to tutor these kids!
Click here to contact us and get more info and work to help a student with their homework and excel! You can make a real impact!
Angie Wiggins joins the Migros Aid team part-time to lead, guide, and facilitate the Migros Aid Academy. Wiggins has over 26 years of teaching experience in a variety of settings. Locally, she has taught with several homeschool co-ops and at North Central High School.
Wiggins says, “I am honored and excited to join the Migros Aid team and help grow the educational component of the ministry. Since January 2018, my daughters and I have volunteered at Migros Aid’s Homework Club. I am thankful for what we’ve learned and experienced through Homework Club. I would love to assist students who have great potential but who may be falling through the cracks in their crowded classrooms. God has given me many opportunities to teach English Language Learners, and I always welcome that. My family and I live on the west side of Indianapolis. My husband, Andy, and I have 3 daughters (Sarah Grace 17, Anna 16, and Caroline 15). We worship and serve at One Fellowship Church. In the free time I have after parenting 3 active teenagers, I love wandering downtown, eating at international restaurants, and hanging out in my hammock with a book.”
Migros Academy tutors will build personal relationships with students from the refugee community to foster academic confidence and a lifelong passion for learning.
How Will the Migros Academy Work?
Once a week tutoring sessions designed to address math and reading skills, as well as relationship building.
The tutoring sessions will have a specific schedule and structure to maximize the time that the student and tutor have together.
We will select 25 students (grades K-8) who demonstrate an interest in academic pursuits and positive attitudes. Each student will be paired with a tutor who will make a 9-week commitment to weekly tutoring sessions over the summer.
All tutors will apply, complete background checks and volunteer waivers, and attend Migros 101.
Tutoring sessions will begin at student homes to build trust between tutors, parents, and students. If all parties are comfortable, the sessions can later take place at other locations
Wiggins reflects further, “Through our process, young people will realize their unlimited potential and make meaningful contributions to their families and communities. • There are bright, eager students in the refugee community who have great potential for leadership and academic success. This new generation of Americans can take advantage of all the world has to offer them and can offer their own gifts and hard work to their communities when they have the necessary tools. Their untapped potential is a detriment to them and their communities! • Their parents are committed to their students doing well in school because most immigrant families value education. Most of the parents, however, are working long hours, are unfamiliar with the American education system, and have not yet become fluent in English. These factors make it difficult for them to assist their children with homework. • America is richer when immigrants bring new perspectives that immigrants bring to the table. All Americans benefit when immigrants succeed.“
Channel 8 news was there to tell the story how the refugee community, who themselves had fled war, want to help refugees in Ukraine. Young people in the group wrote letters that will be mailed to refugees fleeing Ukraine. Also, a total of $14 was collected, all from young people, to assist refugees in Europe. A song was shared by Nick Sahaidachny and he spoke about how his parents fled Ukraine in the 1930s.
Joseph Mosse also shared his story of being raised in Ukraine and how many of his friends are in danger.
Migros Aid has launched a UKRAINE REFUGEE FUND and our goal is to raise $50,000 to bring aid and assistance to the refugee crises that has emerged as a result of Russia’s invasion. We will be be partnering with groups in Poland and Romania where we have relationship.
As Afghan refugees have moved to Indianapolis, we have been having English classes since November 2021 on a weekly basis in the community. We are so grateful for the several volunteers who are helping. We desire to continue these small classes through 2022.
The women’s class has been meeting for two days per week and is currently taking a break. We helped some of the more advanced, educated women enroll in a local English school to get daily English classes. The class provides emotional support for these women, too.
A class for men has been meeting weekly as well who are from Afghanistan.
We are facilitating 3-hour spiritual retreats in the city of Indianapolis in 2022. It is a cross-cultural immersion experience that will open your eyes to the diversity in our city. it is a time of spiritual reflection, guided prayer, discovery, and exposure to the diverse cultures in Indianapolis and introducing people to the work of Migros Aid in the city.
Lacy Turnquist, Missions coordinator of Eagle Church in Whitestown, said, ‘ During our experience, my eyes were opened to the “International” area of Indy. I love that we can not only experience but engage with different cultures right here in our city.”
The Retreat Includes a meal, a stop at the international market to shop in groups, driving in the community, guided prayer, a visit to the apartment of a refugee family to hear their migration story, and the Migros Aid ministry center facility.
Sara Ford participated in the retreat and said, “Join Migros Aid for a day of delicious food, experiential learning, and thoughtful prayer as you immerse yourself into the many cultures represented in Indianapolis! Come with an open mind and heart prepared to learn about Migros Aid and its mission to love the nations right here in our city!”
Joe Garner said, “I witnessed generosity that we see very little in our current “US” culture.”
Want to get more involved in a hands-on way? Be educated on migration impacting central Indiana and the work of Migros Aid?
Sign up for our Migros 101 here. Anyone who wants to serve with Migros needs to go through this.
Upcoming Migros 101 dates:
View upcoming Migros 101 on our home page.
What we cover in Migros 101:
1.) A brief overview of global migration and understanding the how and why of 130k+ immigrants reside in Indianapolis 2.) The Migros Aid story – Our vision/mission/core values/goals 3.) Cross-cultural factors that are important to be aware of when engaging 4.) Discuss the ways you can serve and help and options available 5.) Steps needed to serve / volunteer with us
James Cedric is in his sophomore year at Vincennes University, Indiana’s oldest college founded in 1801. He is studying robotics and on a track scholarship and possibly looking to continue his education and running track at Purdue Northwest in the future.
James was a recent recipient of a laptop computer through Migros Aid.
James said, “Thank you so much for this computer, as this will help me in my studies at college and follow my dreams!”
We met first James in 2016 when he moved to America from Malawi, where he and his family had lived for 15 years as refugees. He was very young when his family fled war-torn Burundi to Malawi.
We were both so happy when we met because I (Joel) got to speak Chichewa to him from traveling to Malawi many years ago. He graduated from Arsenal Tech High School and played on their soccer team. While in High School he was active in our English / CARE club and went to a camp with other students. Thank you for your gifts that allow us to empower young men like James to pursue their dreams!
Younger immigrants can often find life in America challenging, even after being in America for three or four years. One of our efforts is to offer experiences for refugee teens and use the experiences to have conversation and lessons about life.
Zayd Vestal, a former Migros Aid summer intern, led a group of young guys in a rock climbing experience. It was their first time to go to a rock climbing gym.
Conversations about perseverance and goal setting were natural in the experience.
“When I got to the top i felt happy and feel like I accomplished something. This is what it is like in life.” said one participant.
If you have an experience for young immigrants, please contact us. We are always looking for new ideas