As recent immigrants, Somali refugee children face numerous challenges adjusting to life in the USA, including learning English. During Fall 2016, the State of Iowa’s Talent Director sought the help of the Sathya Sai Centre of Des Moines to tutor some of the local Somali refugee children. For the last three years, Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) Group 4 students, ages 15 to 18, and four adult volunteers, have been tutoring about 10–15 students every Sunday at a local mosque. The mentors assist the students with their homework and help them build their skills in Math and English.
The parents of the refugee children have expressed immense gratitude after observing their children’s progress at school. The children appreciate the tutoring sessions which help them better understand math concepts. The SSE Group 4 mentors have also benefited: strengthening their own understanding of math concepts, improving their communication skills, developing greater patience and learning creative ways to teach. More importantly, they enjoy their relationships with the refugee children whom they serve with commitment, dedication and patience, every week.