Are you or anyone in your community fluent in ASL? We are currently working with two individuals who are hearing impaired and in need of First Friend Cultural Mentors to offer guidance and help them acclimate to life in the U.S.
Meet Paw. Paw and his parents were resettled by Lutheran Services of Georgia last winter after fleeing Burma as refugees. Paw was born deaf and spent 20 years of his life in a refugee camp in Thailand, where he had no access to schooling or formal sign language education. When he arrived to the U.S., Paw became very isolated at home, with no way to communicate with anyone outside of his immediate family. Upon enrollment in the Intensive Case Management program, an LSG case manager connected Paw with a local nonprofit through the Atlanta Area School for the Deaf to find an American Sign Language (ASL) teacher. With the support of numerous private donors, Paw started ASL classes in his home!
During Paw's first ASL class, he quickly began learning to sign the alphabet, his name, and the words for objects around his home. At the age of 37, Paw is now able to communicate with people outside of his family. With ongoing weekly ASL classes, Paw will soon be able to access more formal education.
We would love to pair Paw and Prince, a Central African refugee who is also hearing impaired, with a First Friend Cultural Mentor! We are currently looking for at least two volunteers!
. First Friends work with refugee families or individuals on a weekly basis for six months to a year. These volunteers help their First Friends learn about their communities here in the U.S., explore cultural differences, and settle into their new lives. Will you help us get the word out to your communities and introduce us to anyone who might be interested in becoming First Friend Cultural Mentors? We can't wait for Paw and Prince to experience the joys of having a First Friend during this time of transition in their lives!
Contact Janelle Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more.