The following is a press release from the Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of the Greater Twin Cities.
First program of its kind in Minnesota matches Oromo children with adult mentors
11, 2013, SAINT PAUL, MN – Oromo Academic Skills Builders, a new
program from Big Brothers Big Sisters of the Greater Twin Cities (BBBS)
and the American Oromo Community of Minnesota, will launch on May 16.
The program is designed to help Oromo children learn the skills they
need for academic and personal success.
Oromo children ages 7 to 12, many of whom are the children of
refugees, will be paired with adult volunteer mentors. Mentors and
children will meet weekly at the Liberty Plaza Resource Center in Saint
Paul to read, play games and share activities designed to enhance the
academic strengths, cultural understanding and developmental assets of
“Mentoring is important, especially for the Oromo community,” said
Najaha Musse, BBBS Oromo Program Coordinator. “Oromo kids may struggle
academically and socially, and they bare an additional burden of
cultural struggle. They have to reconcile their identity in American
An East African ethnic group, the Oromo come from Ethiopia, northern
Kenya and parts of Somalia. The largest population of stateside Oromo
live in the Twin Cities.
Oromo Academic Skills Builders is “phase two” of BBBS’s Oromo
Mentoring Program, which became the first mentoring program in the state
to work with this growing minority group when it began last fall.
One-on-one mentoring relationships will help Oromo youths develop the
same key assets that are standard for all of BBBS’s mentoring
initiatives, namely, improving self-confidence, ability to relate to
others, and academic performance.
Adult volunteer mentors, of whom about half are Oromo and half from
other backgrounds, are being recruited from among students at local
colleges and universities. All mentors receive nationally approved BBBS
training to help them work effectively with children.
Individuals who would like to enroll their children or volunteer
themselves should contact BBBS. Oromo Academic Skills Builders is made
possible with support from The Sheltering Arms, Bigelow, and Marbrook
–For more visit Gadaa.com