Episode 4: Welcome to our podcast dealing with issues related to immigrants and refugees. In today’s episode, Mikayla Durrance joins us to discuss how See Forward Ministries program for Social Balance is providing an important sense of belonging to the lives of many immigrants and refugees. This aspect is often overlooked, but extremely beneficial.
For many immigrants and refugees, settling in a new country with a different culture, language and customs can be overwhelming. That sense of belonging to a community may have been disrupted by the journey. Without a sense of community, people can quickly begin to feel isolated. The Social Balance program focuses in providing an opportunity to help individuals and families to connect to people with similar backgrounds and experiences. It also provides a terrific opportunity for people in our community to connect with people to learn about what life is like in a different country and/or culture.
The Social Balance Program
This program provides an environment for people to escape from the stress and anxiety of daily life. The Friday Night Movie events are one of ways this is accomplished. Mikayla explains how it provides immigrant children with an outlet to simply feel free and to be kids. They get to see a room full of other kids just having fun. Friendships are made, even if they come from diverse backgrounds. Each of them are working through common challenges. The interaction allows them to realize they’re not alone.
Some of the children have experienced trauma, which was part of either why they left or the fact they had to leave their familiar surroundings. Executive Director Kevin Uyisenga described his personal story from childhood in Episode 2 (The Heart Behind the Mission). Bonding with other people who have a similar experience helps to reduce feelings of isolation and loss.
In April, See Forward Ministries is restarting its Soccer Programs. Teams and leagues will be formed to provide another opportunity for connection. The general public is invited to show up and participate. Sports is an effective bridge to cultural awareness and acceptance. Athletes and volunteers are needed. If you’d like to participate, the website has a convenient Contact Form to sign up.
This year, the organization will team up with New Comer Academy. Some of the soccer matches will take place on their fields. In Episode 3, we discussed the partnership with New Comer Academy and how it is a vital step in helping immigrants and refugees to acclimate to their new surroundings and school system.
As we wrap up the episode, we’d like to thank Services Coordinator Mikayla Durrance for discussing the Social Balance program. If you’re interested in helping with this effort, as Executive Director Kevin Uyisenga says, “Join Us!”
See Forward Ministries is a non-profit organization founded to be a bridge between those who are settling in our area and members of our community who may have an interest in getting involved, learning about different cultures and making this transition a little easier.
This podcast provides a platform for listeners to learn about this organization and the people who are involved with it. If you’ve ever thought about learning more about different cultures, this is an excellent opportunity. Please SUBSCRIBE to our podcast, so you get notifications each time a new episode is launched. Our plan is to launch a new one every 2 weeks.
Visit www.SeeForwardMinistry.com for more information. We’re also on various social media platforms. Let’s connect!