SMS Culturally Specific Mentoring Program
The SMS Culturally Specific Mentoring Program is based on the philosophy that springs from the belief that reformative, transformational change is possible for troubled Somali youth in the juvenile probation system. The program’s positive approach would promote the principles of mutual respect between all participating parties including youth clients toward each other, mentors, staff and other volunteer service providers. Mentors will receive adequate and continuous training and the youth will be sufficiently oriented.
Economic Development Programs
Somali and other East African refugees and immigrants, having left nations with agrarian subsistence economies and high illiteracy, experience higher rates of poverty based on the lack of financial literacy. The East African refugee population in Saint Cloud is mainly comprised of large families, often with 5-11 children, some with female head of households. Often the households include extended family members: nieces, nephews, cousins, etc. Most of these families reside in Twin Cities and surronunding area on public assistance. To tackle the language and cultural barriers as well as the challenge of getting to know a completely new financial system upon moving to the U.S., SMS created an educational program specific to its population. We help the Saint Cloud East African community achieve self-sufficiency through a number of successful projects addressing economic development, including microenterprise and employment services.