Did you know we have 70+ Migros mentors? We like to imagine the breadth of our work through these amazing folks – all volunteers! These mentors meet with families and others tutor students on a weekly basis through the Migros Academy.
We love hearing the stories of how many are engaging creatively and helping our refugee friends thrive. We often say that we want to be “friendship brokers”. We connect volunteers with refugees to become friends. We all need a support system to thrive. The challenge for most refugees is that that support system can be limited due to language and culture. Refugees support system of other family and friendships are miles away in their home nations and it can be lonely. Will you consider being a mentor? We promise it might change you more than you can imagine.
A few stories from Migros Mentors…
“We were reading a book about the Amazon Rain Forest & decided to look up videos of animals that live there. It was so much fun!” Steve
“One of the children I tutor is (age appropriately) inpatient but we have been practicing patience when playing board games. Each week the improvement is noticeable and I know this skill will serve her well when she starts school.” Martina
“Sandrine helped volunteer with me and we celebrated her birthday by making candles. I took her to the Celebrate Science event to visit the booths and learn more about stem and opportunities for summer programs and internships. When I took her home her aunt (Mukeshimana) and grandmother taught me how to make fufu.” Amanda
“I have seen some students become more interactive and open to communication, including listening better.” Noel
“One of the girls in our CARE group got her driver’s license and learner’s permit. She kept studying over the summer and finally passed on the second time taking the written test. “ Tina
“Seeing Queen recognize me and our friendship each week – appreciate that growth!’ Keri
“I think mostly just watching how the kids grow as you spend time with them… not just physically but also mentally and emotionally “ Maggie
“Very rewarding seeing people eager to become citizens” Paula
“One student passes the Civics portion – a great feat given the memorization she had to do and the other student passed all portions. I have explained to my students that English is so important to become part of the community and learn more about people and cultures. “ Darby
If you’ve never experienced the joy of accomplishing more than you can imagine, plant a garden. – Robert Brault
The 4th annual Migros Aid Community Garden provided more than food this season; it also provided a setting for relationships to grow, discipline to develop, and learning to happen.
Our garden produced 989 pounds of tomatoes, cabbages, okra, peppers, cucumbers, and more spread among 36 raised beds. Throughout the summer and fall, community members and volunteers harvested food weekly and distributed it to families.
Beyond the actual vegetables it yielded, the garden did more than we could imagine. Middle school boys (who can be notoriously difficult to wrangle in the best of circumstances) spent an entire evening digging up potatoes and competing for the biggest one – each convinced that they might discover one that could break a world’s record for size. A mentor and some teenage girls had conversations about faith and the Bible over beds of vegetables. An African woman taught Americans which leaves and stems could be cooked into delicious, nutritious dishes. Young girls filled bag after bag to take home to present proudly to their mothers. Teen boys earned pocket money by weeding and caring for the garden. Conversations about culture and food were shared between volunteers and members of the refugee community as they tried to save every cherry tomato before the first frost came.
In the spring, a team sowed seeds that became sprouts, then tall plants, then vegetables. More was sown, however, than physical seeds. The garden also allowed opportunities for seeds of faith, trust, and friendship to be sown. We look forward to seeing the harvest that God produces from those seeds.
All produce was given away for free to families in the refugee community.
And now the garden rests until we begin again next year!
The Migros Academy launched on June 7 and is designed to help assist students to get ready for the upcoming school year that starts on August 1. Eleven volunteer tutors came to tutor students through the summer. All of the students that Migros Aid works within the community are behind in their education, some very significantly. Through the pandemic, most fell even more behind.
The Migros Academy is a continuation of our “Homework Club” that we have been doing for the past four years in the apartments. It is an effort to continue our efforts to empower emerging generations within the refugee community. Tutors will be matched with a student weekly to practice reading, writing, and math. Our goal is to accept kids from grades 1-8 and help them enter High School strong.
Tutors will meet weekly for about 9 weeks and then meet about 10 times during the fall and 10 times during the spring.
Please contact us if you want to serve in this capacity! We have more students who want a tutor than available tutors.
All tutors must fill out an application and have a background check and go through Migros 101. Make a difference in the life of a child today!
Angie Wiggins, Director of the Migros Academy, says, “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.“
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.
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.“
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.”
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!
Thank you for your service to our great state. This petition is to urge you to act within your power to help resettle refugees from Afghanistan into Indiana.
The US-backed Afghan government collapsed recently in a matter of days following the US’ withdrawal of its military presence, leading the Taliban to swiftly take over control of the country for the first time since the US arrived in 2001. Thousands of Afghanis are fleeing for their lives who helped U.S. troops, diplomats, journalists, and other civilians over the past 20 years. It is our duty to help them by welcoming them to our state. Please join other governors throughout our great nation and allow Indiana to be home to Afghani refugees.
I am a proud resident in the state of Indiana.
Please take action and facilitate refugees who have fled Afghanistan to be settled in Indiana. We believe the great people of our state can practice “Hoosier Hospitality” and offer support and friendship.
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
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.