Local Somali Bantu Learn to Bridge Gap Between Youth and Elders
Mentoring can come in many forms and in some cases can be a 'must have' versus 'a nice to have.' Looking for opportunities to partner and fill a need as well as create an exchange is a win-win all around.
Somali languages, such as Maay-Maay, are mainly spoken rather than written, and schooling is scarce, so many Somali Bantu refugees to the USA don’t know how to read or write in their own language, making it difficult to learn others. Without language skills, the cultural gap is more difficult to bridge, as is getting a job.
Rahma Jibril, left, and Lul Jibril lead a class of children as they learn the Maay-Maay alphabet at the Somali Bantu Association of Central New York, May 2, 2013, in Utica.
Community youth help translate for their parents and community elders. To help, the Somali Bantu Association holds classes most week nights where the youth are taught Somali culture and language and they in turn teach the elders English.