July 26 news for refugees

Ellarry PrenticePrint St. Joseph, St. JosephLeave a Comment

Ogeysiis!  Importante para Usted, por favor léalo. Please read!

Announcements brought to you by Cultural Bridges of St. Joseph, a committee of Central Minnesota Community Empowerment Organization. We are dedicated to ease your transition into our community.

Members of the Cultural Bridges Committee interviewed Hodan M. Ahmed.

 Hodan knows five languages. She is intent on becoming proficient in English.

Her life is busy with classes at St. Cloud State University, learning English, and working in Home Care through REM Central Lakes in St. Cloud. Her ready smile and friendly conversation confirms her desire to work with people. She is considering a future as a teacher or a social worker.

 Hodan was born in the Qabribayax Camp in Ethiopia. Life in the camp was challenging in that there was no heat, no air conditioning and no lights. Sometimes water was scarce and very expensive to purchase.

She lived there for 14 years before her family came to the United States in 2011. She, her mother and siblings moved to  St. Joseph in 2015.

Her family chose to live here because they preferred a small, quiet town. Some of her siblings attend Kennedy Community School where they have found the people there welcoming and friendly.

 Recently her family planted a garden in a section of the Community Garden sponsored by the Sisters of St. Benedict. Another new experience for her and her sisters was an opportunity to swim in a lake. She proudly showed a video clip of them splashing in the water.

 She wants the people of St. Joseph to know that Somali people are “very nice.”

Their loud voices and hand gestures are cultural and not to be feared.

She also wants the people of St. Joseph to know that she is a “nice lady,” she always tries to speak English and she wants to help people.

Cultural Bridges is hosting a multicultural potluck at 11:30 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 25, at Resurrection Lutheran Church in St. Joseph. Children are welcome and activities will be provided for them after they have eaten.

If you have any questions, please contact Juliana Howard at 715-791-8976 or Khadija Salah at 320-345-0593.

contributed photo
Hodan Ahmed of St. Joseph.

Author: Ellarry Prentice

Leave a Reply