Columbus: Painting a Community Refugee Classroom

Refugee children and families have lost everything they know, love, and need to survive and thrive. While the reasons and the regions may vary, the story and desperation are the same. All refugees are seeking safety, freedom, and the chance to reclaim futures for themselves and their families. For our December Unified Promise, we had the opportunity to surprise refugees by painting their classroom and adding a welcoming mural. The refugees spend hours in this classroom — it’s their second home. This project helped to develop a learning space where refugees can learning English so they can live and work in America and job skills training to help them learn how to find and keep a job. Our Unified Promise was in partnership with the nonprofit organization, Ethiopian Tewahedo Social Services. Their mission is to assist immigrant and refugee families in Central Ohio improve the quality of their lives, and facilitate integration through education, training, supportive services, and self-development opportunities. “Tewahedo” means “come to unity” or “to become one” in the ancient Ethiopian language. It represents their philosophy that all humanity is one and that this oneness creates a responsibility to help the community of which we are a part.

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