Our Afghan Refugee Response

Our Afghan Refugee Response

Over 7,200 Afghan refugees have been settled into Camp Atterbury in Indiana in the last several months. While the majority of these refugees will eventually settle throughout North America, many have made their new home in Indianapolis. Our focus has been on Afghans arriving here in Indianapolis in several different parts of the city. We have extensive relationships within the Afghan community and have been getting regular referrals of new arrivals requesting aid. We also hear from caseworkers who ask for assistance needed for new families.

We are having Afghan families come to our weekly CARE CLUB and HOMEWORK CLUB for connection and help. Please pray for our team as we navigate the open doors before us for new relationships and impact.

As many Afghani refugees are being settled around the city of Indianapolis, we are focusing our efforts of care and empowerment in the following ways:

  1. Weekly English Classes for Afghani Women. We are currently having English classes two days per week in the community.
  2. Weekly English Classes for Afghani men. We are currently having English Classes two days per week in the community for men
  3. Furniture Donations. We have collected and delivered donated furniture to new families
  4. Household Items from the Amazon Wish List. We have distributed many items from the Amazon wish list
  5. Clothing – Most of the children do not have clothing and we have collected, sorted, and distributed clothing to families
  6. Adjustment & Welcome- Our staff , volunteers and Migros Mentors have been assisting families and providing encouragement and friendship
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Our 2021 Garden Produced 1,424 Pounds of Produce and Provided 8 Students Work throughout the Summer

Our 2021 Garden Produced 1,424 Pounds of Produce and Provided 8 Students Work throughout the Summer

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. 

Weekly C.A.R.E. Club Returns

Weekly C.A.R.E. Club Returns

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.

The Mon Sisters: A Migration Story of Hope!

The Mon Sisters:  A Migration Story of Hope!

Twin sisters Mon Htaw and Mon Sorn were living as refugees in Thailand when their 7-year-old brother died from malaria because of a lack of health care.   “He died in my parent’s arms,” Mon Sorn said.

They are from the Mon people, a Buddhist ethnic group, that today is scattered throughout the world and has experienced generations of oppression and injustice.  There are about 1.3 million MON people around the world. 

“That was the moment my father decided to get my sister, younger brother and me to America for a better future.”

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Enabling Self-Sufficiency and Transformation through Holistic Mentoring

Enabling Self-Sufficiency and Transformation through Holistic Mentoring

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…

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A Migration and Mentoring Story: Mohamad and Nisreen from Syria befriended by Tom and Wendy of Zionsville

A Migration and Mentoring Story:  Mohamad and Nisreen from Syria befriended by Tom and Wendy of Zionsville

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…

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Getting Prepared for the 2021 Garden

Getting Prepared for the 2021 Garden

This is our third year for the Migros Aid garden. Each year it has grown and expanded, impacting more people.

We have had a couple of work days this year and plan to have more before planting in early May. We will employe 6-8 young people to work in the garden this summer and exploring ways to participate in a local farmers market.

In 2020, we grew 940 pounds of produce for the community. We hope that in 2021 we can increase this to help provide food to more people.

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Updated Mission and Vision Statements and Core Values

Updated Mission and Vision Statements and Core Values

Thank you to all of the volunteers and the Migros Aid board for giving input and suggestions on our revised mission and vision statements. We have been in a process of collecting input this year from our team to communicate what we are about. As every organization evolves and grows, it is always crucial to adapt and update the mission, vision, and core values. We believe this will help guide our efforts into the future and increase our ability to share our mission and vision with a wider audience to be able to have a greater capacity of impact.

MISSION

Our mission is to create belonging among immigrants and refugees by facilitating transformative relationships through holistic mentoring. 

VISION

Our vision is to promote a welcoming community of hospitality that creates human flourishing, self-sufficiency, and transformation – while reducing isolation and fear.

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