Community groups look to help refugees transition to mid-Missouri

7 months 1 week 4 days ago October 11, 2016 Oct 11, 2016 Tuesday, October 11 2016 Tuesday, October 11, 2016 4:48:00 PM CDT in News
By: Luis Rodriguez, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

COLUMBIA – Moving into a new household in a different neighborhood can be a tough transition for some. Getting to know the area and meeting new neighbors can be a challenge.

The change can be even more difficult for refugees.

From October of 2015 to September of 2016, 229 refugees were resettled in the Columbia area, most of them women and children, according to Refugee and Immigration Services, a Jefferson City based organization.

The refugees came from Eritrea, Iraq, Somalia, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Cuba, Ukraine, and many others countries from around the world.

For John Akuien Garang, 37, it’s been a difficult transition, but nothing can overshadow the opportunity he was given.

Originally from South Sudan, Garang left his war-torn country as a child and lived in a Kenyan refugee camp for more than 20 years. But after he was resettled in Columbia, he said, he felt less pressure in raising his family. 

“Now, I am okay. My children are in school, and me, I am in work,” Garang said.

There are organizations and people in the community who help the refugees ease into their new lives.

The Adult Learning Center offers free English classes to anyone who attends an orientation and is willing to go to class.

“Our focus is on daily living, life skills, and workplace readiness," said Stephany Schler, coordinator at the Adult Learning Center

She said, "Our teachers are dedicated and this program really helps those who are here and are trying to learn.”

Jeanne Lambson, a music instructor, takes one day out of her week to teach a class about how the Columbia bus system works. She heard about the volunteer opportunity at her church. Now, she said, it’s the simplicity she desires for refugees that keeps her volunteering.

“Most people in the world just want a life. Raise their family. Work. Have happiness in their life,” Lambson said.

For one man who came to Columbia as a refugee seven years ago, it’s the sense of community that is really helping Columbia move forward.

“If you, as a community, stand together, you can achieve a lot of things,” said Nadeem Ramiydh, case manager at Refugee and Immigration Services.

Details on how to volunteer or donate are on the Refugee and Immigration Service's website. The Columbia office is at office at 201 West Broadway.

 

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY — A Kansas City man is charged with shooting into a south Kansas City church, injuring a church... More >>
22 minutes ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 6:32:57 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY — A Missouri House committee has endorsed a bill authorizing discounted electric rates for steel and aluminum production... More >>
1 hour ago May 24, 2017 May 24, 2017 Wednesday, May 24 2017 Wednesday, May 24, 2017 4:57:10 AM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City police were investigating a Tuesday evening shots fired incident that left a man with an... More >>
7 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 11:10:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - After President Trump's executive order that put a temporary hold on people from certain countries entering the United... More >>
9 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:52:00 PM CDT in Target 8
ST. CHARLES - The second day of a trial in the death of Missouri State Trooper James Bava centered around... More >>
9 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 9:36:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The University of Missouri System Board of Curators voted Tuesday afternoon to increase tuition at all four UM... More >>
11 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 7:33:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Lincoln University was expected to announce its interim president on Thursday. The university's board of curators... More >>
12 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 6:37:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - As lawmakers met in special session Tuesday, Gov. Eric Greitens spoke at a rally of Missourians wanting... More >>
12 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 6:18:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Family and friends of Cameron Scott Caruthers spoke to KOMU 8 News over the telephone Tuesday afternoon. ... More >>
13 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 5:28:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Columbia Public Schools sent home a letter to parents Tuesday addressing rumors about possible threats. CPS Superintendent... More >>
13 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 4:56:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A restaurant was closed Tuesday after crews found high levels of natural gas. Columbia fire crews responded... More >>
14 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 4:38:00 PM CDT in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Jefferson City will be seeing new bike racks installed around town. The goal is to make... More >>
14 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 4:32:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Dashcam video shows that a University of Missouri-Kansas City student seemed confused when she was stopped... More >>
14 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 4:01:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The man shot Monday on Dawn Ridge Road has died and robbery does not appear to be a... More >>
15 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 3:25:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - A Columbia woman has pleaded guilty to murder and armed criminal action in the death of a man... More >>
15 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 3:03:00 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - The Central Missouri Humane Society has brought in over 200 animals so far this year and is looking... More >>
16 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 2:10:00 PM CDT in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — University of Missouri-Kansas City Chancellor Leo Morton plans to retire at the end of the next... More >>
17 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 1:08:28 PM CDT in News
COLUMBIA - Alexander Cartwright, a provost at State University of New York, will be named the next chancellor at Mizzou,... More >>
18 hours ago May 23, 2017 May 23, 2017 Tuesday, May 23 2017 Tuesday, May 23, 2017 12:44:00 PM CDT in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 50°
7am 49°
8am 52°
9am 55°
10am 58°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

6:00a
KOMU 8 News Today
7:00a
Today
11:00a
Rachael Ray
6:30a
King of the Hill
7:00a
Cheaters
7:30a
Cops Reloaded

Tonight's Schedule

7:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
8:00p
Law & Order: Special Victims Unit
7:00p
Arrow
8:00p
The 100
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld