We had our fourth Back to School Event in the community last week with an enormous turnout from the community. We gave out 150 backpacks filled with school supplies for the upcoming school year. Food was provided by friends from Somalia, Syria, the Karen & Mon people (from Myanmar region).
We met many new families who signed up for services. The students enjoyed face painting, corn hole, soccer, and table games! Free kids books were provided to each student who wanted to begin to build their own library.
Thank you for those who came to serve! It was a phenomenal, magical evening
Zayd Vestal has completed his freshman year at North Park University in Chicago, IL. and still deciding his major. He currently is working as a summer intern this summer with Migros Aid and helping serve in numerous ways within the refugee community.
Zayd reflects on his summer internship,
“I have discovered that I have felt most at peace with the families, children, and individuals of my age who are connected with Migros Aid and from around the world. What I mean by “most at peace” is that when I spend time with these individuals, whatever the occasion is, I have never felt more comfortable and at ease. Of course, not everything is peaceful, but I can genuinely say that in my entire life, I have never felt as safe to be myself around the people in Migros Aid, even though there is a drastic cultural boundary between them and me. As I have gotten to know these individuals, almost every encounter with them is full of joy and warmth that seems rooted in their DNA. These individuals are mainly refugees from different parts of the world. They come to Indianapolis mostly on the lower-income spectrum of society, English not their primary language and most are not familiar with the customs and culture of America as a whole. Immigrants are the gentiles of modern-day America. Romans 3:29 says, “After all, is God the God of the Jews only? Isn’t he also the God of the Gentiles? Of course, HE is! Our God is the God of all nations and cares for our neighbors and ‘the stranger.’ I have very much cherished my cross-cultural experiences with Migros because I have gained different perspectives of the world, and I believe this is what it means to be a follower of Jesus: to see and hear from people of all different backgrounds. We are all created in the image of God and have something to show of the Kingdom of God.”
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.
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.
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