In April, a team of volunteers from St. Bridget/St. Joseph Parish in East Bloomfield and other church and community organizations welcomed and helped resettle a family of six Somali-Bantu refugees. On Sept. 10, the community welcomed another family of four Somali-Bantu refugees and started the process all over again.
The original team helped the first Somali-Bantu family, the Mohameds, secure housing, education and employment. They also helped the Mohamed family learn about appliances, the American way of life and the English language, among other things. Some members of that team are still working with the Mohamed family, but others have formed a second resettlement team to work with the new Somali-Bantu family.
The new team is in need of volunteers to help with the resettlement process, work with the new family and help them adjust to the English language and life in America. The team is also looking for businesses who are willing to offer employment to the Somali-Bantus, who have some skills but may not be fluent in English, said Sister Diane Dennie, pastoral administrator of St. Bridget/St. Joseph Parish.
“It’s like being a missionary without leaving Bloomfield. Anybody’s welcome to be a missionary” and join the team, Sister Dennie said.
For more information, contact the parish at 585/657-7626.