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Introducing myself and my journal: We must know one another...

About Me:
I am a 36 year old American woman of mainly Irish descent. I learned to speak French because of a love of African cultures and of languages in general. I direct a program called "Speaking from the Heart" at Spiritus Christi Church in Rochester, NY. It is my own "brain child" and it is still evolving. The program brings together American parishioners and Rochester's refugee population so that they can each learn from, and get to know, the other, and so that the refugees can practice speaking English with patient and sympathetic listeners. It's a small group of participants (about 30 people total), but it is growing and each consecutive get-together improves upon the last.

I also do intake interviews for any refugee applying for employment services at the Catholic Family Center: Refugee, Immigration, and Language Services Department. That means, I conduct the initial interview when a refugee asks CFC for help finding a job. I make note of their education, work history, language skills, longterm goals and I do a quick check of their finances to be sure they are not facing a major financial crisis.

In my personal life, some of my best friends are refugees from Africa. I see what life is like for them here in the US and I feel called to do something about it. I want to reduce their isolation mainly. I think a lot of the problems of refugees in Rochester will fall by the wayside if more Americans can serve as cultural mentors to them.

I want to explain to more Americans that, by serving others, I have reaped bountifully myself. Refugees have taught me how to cook and how to speak French. They have given me first hand accounts of the politics and oppression happening in their countries. They've shared their friendship with me, and, honestly, they taught me social skills (I was too studious in high school and college and I missed the boat in that regard). In a society where we so rarely have time for each other, refugees had time for me. I owe them a lot and I am determined to pay their kindness "forward!"

My Passions:
being present to family, friends, and the children in my life

My Challenges:
poor health

My Vision for the Future:
there will be more fully developed social networks uniting Americans and Refugees in the Greater Rochester community

My Areas of Expertise:
French

Comments

kmwelch's picture

Dear Heavey, Welcome to the

Dear Heavey,

Welcome to the World Pulse community! If you haven't already, I encourage you to explore and learn more about the events and resources being shared by our encouraging network and strengthen it further by contributing your valuable perspective with us.

Let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help in any way.

Warmly,
Katie

Susan K.A.'s picture

Welcome to you, Heavey!

Dear Heavey,

I am so moved and touched by your introduction. It's just so beautiful how you have found your calling and have recognized how you've reaped huge rewards from serving others. And how you're sharing that insight and wisdom with the rest of us. Thank you so much for joining World Pulse and sharing with us your story!

This line popped out for me: "In a society where we so rarely have time for each other, refugees had time for me." So true that so often we are too busy with our own self-interest and general busy-ness to slow down and make time for each other, to be present for each other. You have gratitude for the presence your friends have shown you, and are choosing to reciprocate that gift. I respect so much your passion for being present to all the loved ones in your life; there is no greater gift.

Congratulations for creating such a wonderful program in service of the immigrant people of your community. Best wishes for its continued success, expansion and support!

Here is a useful link to get you started networking here at World Pulse: http://worldpulse.com/pulsewire/about/guide

It is so wonderful having you here and I look forward to reading your posts in the days to come!

With love,

Susan

______________________________________________________________________________

"I wish I could show you when you are lonely or in darkness the astonishing light of your own being."
-Hafiz

fidelity's picture

welcom

Dear Heavey,
i do salute you for the great work and the service you are ledering to my sisters and brothers in New york. you have created time to listen to them, walk with and lead your hand where you can. it is much more blessed to give that to receive and that is why your harvest is great. keep up the good work. you can connect and learn more from us. i have a passion for the same and i run an NGO young Africa women Initiatives focusing on women rights and economic empowerment.
lets network.
fidelis

fidelis

Fatima Waziri's picture

Hey there! Welcome to

Hey there! Welcome to Worldpulse community!

It’s so exciting having you with us, I am sure you will have a fabulous time with your new online friends as well as find this to be a very positive experience. I encourage you to take advantage of the numerous resources and features available through our vibrant online community.

Welcome again to our global community and I look forward to hearing more from you.

Peace!
Fatima

Heavey's picture

Thank you Fatima, I look

Thank you Fatima,
I look forward to reading your ideas as well...
Have a good night!
Heavey

Heavey's picture

disclaimer

FYI I have friended or written private messages to the people who responded to my journal. Since I didn't post them publicly until now, it looks like I ignored them, but I assure you I did not!

BUHENDWA NEEMA's picture

bien à vous

je suis heurese de vous retrouvé dans cette communauté world pulse;nous esperons partager avec vous nos idées pour contubué au progrés,merci et j'espere

neema

BUHENDWA NEEMA's picture

bien à vous

je suis heurese de vous retrouvé dans cette communauté world pulse;nous esperons partager avec vous nos idées pour contubué au progrés,merci et j'espere

neema

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