Neighborhood Opportunity Network

Supporting one another in a time of crisis

Making connections in Gaithersburg!

Posted by katieschmahl on August 10, 2010

Over the past weeks, I have witnessed an abundance of amazing connections in Gaithersburg and wanted to share a few with you all:

First, we’ve had a wonderful leader emerge from the community named Mustafa who started coming on Thursday nights because Kim and Bill told him about it in their yoga class! Since then, he has started a Spanish and English conversation class that is an informal and comfortable setting where people feel safe enough to practice their language skills and it’s growing each week! Last night there were 6 of us from all different countries: El Salvador, Ecuador, Korea, Colombia, US, and Bangladesh!

A new addition, Marta, who works for Family Services, was a former teacher in Colombia and volunteered to help Blanca write in Spanish and English outside of the class! Blanca, the childcare provider for our Thursday night meetings who thought she didn’t know any English at the beginning of the class, realized when we wrote down all the words she knew, that she actually did know a lot! She’s going to invite her friends next time!

Secondly, two women, Phyllis  and Noelia, that we met while doorknocking, met each other at the last Neighbors Exchange. They found out that they live across the street from each other, and with Noelia being a recent immigrant from Peru who could not speak or understand any English, Phyllis invited her to her house to learn English by using an online computer program through the Gaithersburg library. Through this connection, Noelia is learning English and how to use a computer for the first time, and Phyllis feels good that she is able to help out a neighbor!

Way to go neighbors!!

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