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
C.A.R.E. Club (formally known as English Club) is starting August 8, 2019. It is our attempt to “rebrand” our weekly gathering. Session 1 of C.A.R.E. Club will be 24 weeks and consists of 6 lessons around each letter of C.A.R.E. It is designed for ages 21 and under but we believe the content can translate to adults, too. We will still have English Conversation for adults.
We are seeking guides! Guides are volunteers who will commit to work with a group (5-8) each session on a weekly basis and provide encouragement and support. Volunteers are welcome to come monthly for other roles like food, greeters, monitors, and clean up.
“Through an amazing organization called Migros Aid Indy, our family spends a lot of time with refugees from all over the world. Every week we go to “English club” and hang out with kids while their parents attend an English class. We eat, we sing, and we learn from each other. It’s a beautiful gathering of people from all walks of life.
Many of the kids are active, playing on the playground or playing soccer, but there are a few that love to draw and write, and I am generally found with these kids (because I love to draw and write, too, of course!). So, I decided to introduce this activity to these kids this week.
The products of their work were as diverse as they are. There was a girl who recently arrived from Syria who is learning to write English letters and words, so she intently copied the words on the page, and then drew a beautiful picture. There were two young ladies, one from the Congo and one from Tanzania that wrote stories about themselves – one of them in her own language, and they also drew pictures. My daughter and I also wrote and drew our own as examples. It was an amazing experience, and now I am inspired to create activities in Spanish, French, and Arabic, with simple English instructions that would accommodate these young people so they will be able to express themselves further.
Children always have amazing stories to tell. I always say that children should consider themselves and their stories when learning their family history, because after all, they are a very important part of it.
How Family Story Time Works:
An activity for kids has been created to help kids get started in listening to their family stories – in particular, the stories of childhood. The activity begins with space for the child to write a story from their childhood, with space to illustrate it. Then it moves on to older family members and beyond – all with space to write and illustrate, together with family members. By the end of the activity, a simple and sweet basis for the child’s family history will have been formed, and they can start creating their family tree, now knowing stories behind the names!”
“Wait me” “Wait me”, says Saw Kyaw every week as he wants to be picked up for Migros Aid English Club, often yelling it across the parking lot. He is eager to come to work on his English but maybe more interested in the community that has developed and a sense of belonging. He is always showing photos from his phone of his parents and sister who are still back in Myanmar.
Every week he has his backpack and pulls out his framed certificate to put on the table. Always with a smile, he is so very proud of his completion of a three-month course that he finished in 2012 at his refugee camp in Thailand. He has been in America for about two years and is working hard to learn English. We do not know all of his story but I am sure it is fascinating and he has for sure inspired many others!
Imagine moving to a new country as a refugee and the trauma fleeing a war zone that you know as home. As most refugees come to America, the children absorb and learn English much faster than their parents. However, many of them struggle in school and do not have the ability to get help with homework at home because their parents still cannot read or speak English well enough to help them with their 7th grade English writing assignment or math homework. This is the reality even thought they have been settled in America for a couple of years
“Can we come to the English club to get help with our homework?” asks young refugee students with excitement.
“Yes! You can come and you are always welcome!” I reply to them.
“We were looking at the window for the van to pull up for one hour” one refugee student tells me after getting in the van.
If you are able to come help tutor students with their homework, please contact us to get involved.
There is much attention to the ‘Refugee Resettlement Program’ in our news media. Since the inception of our country, immigrants and refugees have been welcomed. Did you know that since the ‘Refugee Resettlement Act of 1980″ over 3 million refugees have been brought to America. read more here
Last night at the Migros Aid Indy English Club, two Arab women (one from Iraq and the other from Syria) who have been in America for several years were helping teach a group of African women English. It was an amazing site to see.
We are grateful for our volunteers and are in need for more. Please contact us to get more information.