Prepare Early Learners in Refugee Community for Academic Success

The word “refugee” sparks many different emotions these days, particularly in the current political climate. However, what if the reason why some (or perhaps even all) refugees were ripped out of their homes was by the design of our sovereign God, to give people who otherwise would potentially never have had a chance to hear the Good News about Jesus to suddenly be in an environment in which they could regularly be in contact with His followers and freely hear the message? Such is the situation with a people group from one of the least-reached nations in the world, who now are trying to build new lives in the U.S. The East African country from which they came has been firmly closed to Gospel workers for over 25 years (and in some ways even longer than that) and is well known for its persecution of Christian converts. These tribes lived in remote, rural regions of that country, and so, within their devout Muslim context, had very little chance that they would ever hear the Gospel.

Yet, after experiencing horrific atrocities at the hands of their fellow countrymen during a devastating civil war, they fled to refugee camps in Kenya and Ethiopia. They waited many years to find a new home, and now they find themselves welcomed by the U.S. government to be resettled in America. As a communal society, they are drawn to gather together in pockets of the country, and so one of these communities in a city in the northeastern U.S. is now comprised of over 95 families and 550 people. This community functions as a single entity, and so, in essence, they have formed a new village tribal structure within the confines of a much larger city. But they have arrived without the language, education, and skills necessary to assimilate into the socio-economic fabric of life in America. 

This has led to a unique opportunity in which this community has reached out for assistance. As a result, God has raised up a team of workers who have been able to engage in meeting some of their practical needs, providing a platform and level of trust in which the team can share about the difference that Jesus has made in their lives. This has resulted in a significant shift in the community’s openness to be in relationship with followers of Jesus and to hear the message that they bring. 

As we get to know members of the Somali Bantu community more closely, we recognize that one group has unique needs that we can serve - the younger school-aged children who attend kindergarten through 4th grade. These children are entering the American school system from homes where they have little context for learning the basics of language, math, etc., which most young children acquire in the first 4 years of life. We want to be able to provide helpers who can come alongside them in an after-school situation, to nurture learning and achievement at a young age. A Goer who has skill and interest in teaching and child development will find a meaningful role on the team for this purpose. We want to be able to foster confidence and a positive social and educational experience that will lead to success as they progress through later learning and into adulthood.

Skills: 

A Goer who will thrive in this position must have a desire to serve a community of refugees from an African country which was closed to the Gospel, who have a very different understanding of culture and education. 

The Goer should have the training and interest to help the younger children in the SB community, K-4th graders, learn the basic skills American children should acquire during their first years of elementary school.

Placement Details

Status: 
Open
Track: 
Region: 
Language: 
Positions: 
3
Start cycles: 
Fall
Winter
Location: 
Pittsburgh
Genders: 
Both
Reference number: 
13162556
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