Family Mentor - Refugee Services
Purpose and Impact: Catholic Charities of Tennessee Refugee and Immigration Services provide a wide array of programs to help newly-arrived refugees acquire skills they need to acclimate to American culture and responsibilities. However, adjusting to a new culture and set of expectations is a difficult process, and many of our families require additional support to do so successfully. Oftentimes, families have to adapt to an entirely new understanding of daily life, learning the very basics of household functioning and metropolitan living. As a Family Mentor, you (and your family) will be matched with a refugee family to provide them basic instruction of American living, help orient them to the Nashville community, and develop a trusting relationship. Understanding "the basics" is an indispensable component of successful resettlement and can go a long way toward making families feel safer, happier, and more confident in their new home.
Tasks and Responsibilities:
- Practice basic English to improve their sense of purpose and place in the community
- Call or visit the family once a week in order to build a trusting, friendly relationship
- Take him/her on outings to learn about Nashville and American culture
- Offer instruction on basic household functioning (how to do laundry, wash dishes, store food, etc.), if needed
- Help them with common errands
• Friendly and open-minded
• Patience and flexibility
• Excellent listening and communication
• Independence and creativity
• Desire to work with other cultures, especially non-English speakers
• Access to transportation (with insurance)
Preferred Skills: Proficient foreign language abilities are always a plus!
Time Commitment: We ask for at least 1 hour a week, with an initial 6 month commitment. The hours are flexible and are determined by the volunteer's schedule.
Site and Supervision: You will be supervised by Asrar Babikir, Self-Sufficiency Coordinator, and an initial meeting with the family will be arranged and facilitated by their assigned case manager. Subsequent meetings are usually hosted in the family's home-in or around the Nashville metro area-or wherever the volunteer and family choose to go.
Volunteer Benefits: This role is perfect for volunteers who like to serve autonomously and direct their own projects and goals. Though volunteers are welcome individually, this is also an excellent opportunity to engage your family in welcoming refugees to the community. For example, if you have teen-aged children, we can match you with a family that also has children of a similar age. Together with our clients, you can build community, learn about other cultures, and develop a new sense of what it means to be an American and a Nashvillian.
Contact: For more information or to apply for this position, please contact Emily Sellers, Volunteer Coordinator, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (615) 259-3567, ext. 1199.
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