Monthly Archives: March 2010

Interfaith “Taking Heart” helps refugees resettle with “Taking Root”

Refugee mother and children helped by Taking Root program

A mother and children helped by the Taking Root program

By Gail Anderson, Minnesota Council of Churches

Gail Anderson of the Minnesota Council of ChurchesOn a wintry afternoon in the last week of February Mariam, age 30, arrived in the Twin Cities on a flight from Turkey.  She and her family had taken refuge there after fleeing violence and anarchy in her home country of Somalia.  She has had no permanent home for the last five years.  She arrived with her five children, ages 4–13, with no connection to this community – no family, no friends, no resources.

However, she and her family were greeted at the airport by a group of people organized by the Minnesota Council of Churches to help them get rooted in their new community, their new home.  Her group of sponsors will get her family set up in an apartment, they will drive her and her family to appointments, they will introduce her to her neighborhood and community, they will help the kids get set up in school, and most likely they will become some of her first friends in America.

Mariam and her family are the first of nearly 100 refugees with no connection to anyone in Minnesota (a “free case”) expected to be co-sponsored by the Minnesota Council of Churches in 2010.

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