We are devoted to maximizing the learning experience of every child by guiding, and challenging them to reach their fullest potential through community networking and our own challenging and inspiring programs. We are committed to building leaders and promoting productive participants in an increasingly diverse society by providing the opportunities, resources, and skills necessary to be lifelong learners. Somali Youth and Family Club strongly believes that the protection and educational development of all youth and the access to resources for families is necessary and integral to human progress. We are committed to working with all partners to provide access to essential services towards the attainment of sustainable quality life.
We provide naturalization assistance for qualifying people with refugee and asylum status. This includes refugees who arrived in the US on or after August 22, 1996, who are currently receiving Supplementary Security Income (SSI), have been in the US for at least 4 years and have not naturalized; Refugees receiving state-funded Aged, Blind, or Disabled (ABD) benefits; or Lawful Permanent Residents who are currently receiving ABD benefits. Our staff can assist English, Somali, Arabic, Amharic speakers with culturally supportive services to help clients complete application forms (N-400, fee waiver, and medical disability waiver) and following up with their progress till they are naturalized.
In our evidence-based Community Café conversation model, we use Play & Learn groups as a way to build, strengthen, and sustain a social network for Somali parents and others in the East African community. Many of our parents are isolated because of language, transportation, and social customs. The Play & Learn groups are a wonderful way for our community to get to know each other and to talk about what is working well and where they need support.
We focus on child development and strengthening families. Through our community cafe and workshop sessions we listen to the families and provide information and education on reflective parenting, model appropriate discipline to increase parent learning and understanding the importance of brain development and impact of early childhood trauma. We also work on Kindergarten readiness skills. All of these efforts help to prevent child abuse and neglect by building important skills with our children, and to help parents understand that they are their child’s first teacher.
We provide after school tutoring two to four afternoons a week in two locations: Skyway and SeaTac. Our professional and volunteer tutors are bi- or multilingual (English, Somali, Arabic, Amharic, and Swahili) and multicultural. Services, which include math and reading and are adapted to our children’s needs (i.e. working with Somali and East African students). We provide healthy snacks and educational games and activities, in addition to our academic support and field trips. Our school age programs also encompass our summer weekends we provide soccer activities, swimming classes in partnership with the YMCA, and our Girls Leadership Academy creates opportunities for girls to build confidence and take on leadership roles in their community at Creston point apartments.
We work with Renton Technical College to provide training in basic reading and digital literacy skills for adults.
We provide case management for housing support and homelessness prevention to refugees and immigrant communities in South King county. We have deep and trusting relationships with our community members. We provide services in client’s first language; all of our staff is bi- or multilingual (English, Somali, Arabic, Amharic, and Swahili) and multicultural. Many of our families find us through word-of-mouth referrals, including referrals by Federal resettlement agencies.
We have variety of programs that have an opportunity to help our families learn how to advocate for fair and livable housing where they feel safe, appliances work and are clean, and children are healthy and successful in school. We are in a unique position to help our families learn how to advocate for housing, and for policy changes. We also partner with other community organizations in South King County to advocate for the East African community and other underserved communities.