You are needed |
A couple hours a week or a month—we will take whatever you can give.
As some of you know I serve in the Parley’s Creek Branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In this branch African refugees from all over the Wasatch Front are served by a host of volunteers from full and part time LDS service missionaries and young proselyting missionaries to LDS members called by leadership from other wards. But it is not enough.
To actually help most of them make significant progress and move beyond poverty and month to month survival mode, they need mentors. And we don’t have enough. Most of their children struggle in school and without mentoring help will be disadvantaged the rest of their lives. These refugees come from various countries, tribes and languages but Swahili, French, and English are the primary languages spoken with some Kirundi.
For a decent sense of the challenges facing this good people and a small window into the branch you can read this article:
A Mormon refugee family’s struggle to survive in Utah
As a mentor and as the mentor coordinator for the branch, I have seen how invaluable mentoring can be for these good people. Needs span from helping new arrivals understand what a fridge is for to helping those who have been here a year or more learn how to budget and improve their English and employment.
Often the kids are struggling in school because of the language and can use tutors with homework as well as just reading books with them.
Once you begin you get a sense of where the needs lie. Depending on what a mentor takes on, some training and resources are provided as well as directing you to community resources.
If this isn’t a good fit for you, please think about others who may be interested and pass along the invitation.
Here is a simple flyer that details the opportunities: PCB Mentor Opportunities
Thanks so much!