We are emailing to say THANK YOU! As you know, the opportunities to be a friend can change in an instant. Every day, we are hearing of new ways to come alongside New Americans to create flourishing.
Responding to these new opportunities is only possible because of the support of people like you. We saw a clear example of this dynamic last year when we piloted an ESOL group for mostly Afghan women.
We started the group in response to the wave of Afghan women who had recently arrived in the metro Atlanta area. Nearly all of them had arrived just a few months prior, and many had landed in one of the apartment complexes close to the Jolly Avenue Garden . Many had children in our Summer Youth Experience – meaning they had time at home alone or with very small children during the day. We started getting to know these women, forging friendships.
As we got to know them, we learned that most had never had the opportunity to learn to read or write. So we started meeting regularly, studying phonics and the alphabet. As you can read here, it was a blast!
When the summer came to an end, these women wanted to keep going. They wanted to keep learning.
We stopped and considered – did we have the capacity to start a brand new program that could serve these women and others like them?
Thanks to your generous, faithful support, we were able to answer with a resounding “YES!”
Fast forward just a few months, and Parwana is taking wing. Dr. Amy Pelissero, an experienced ESOL instructor and former Head of School at Global Village Project, has joined our team and is almost ready to pilot Parwana – an English program for women just starting their literacy journeys. At her side is Khaty, a New American from Afghanistan who will serve as Program Assistant. The classroom is ready, the curriculum is taking shape, and the calls from prospective students are coming in. We cannot wait!
“We called it ‘Parwana’ because that word means butterfly in Dari. When I listen to women in my community, I hear so much hunger for education. They’re hungry to learn. Education is the thing that allows members of my community to spread their wings and fly,” says Khaty.
Truly, we would not have gotten to this moment without the support of people like you. Thank you for being a friend to New Americans, and to these women. We cannot wait to see how Parwana sows abundant life in flourishing communities.