LEWISTON, Maine (NEWS CENTER) — Since Somalis started settling in the Lewiston/Auburn area more than ten years ago, they’ve had help with things like finding health care and jobs, but it’s been more difficult to help them feel at home.
That’s why community organizers have started a new group called “Welcoming Maine,” and it brings together Somalis and community leaders to get to know each other on a different level.
Sarah Davis started Welcoming Maine last year, and said more than 70 people attended the first event.
“We’re really striving to open people’s hearts and open people’s minds to each other, and the education goes both ways,” said Davis.
Welcoming Maine introduces Somalis to people from law enforcement agencies, advocacy groups, schools, and other groups.
Each community meeting focuses on a different aspect of integration. This Thursday, a dinner at the Nutrition Center in Lewiston will focus on youth integration — a relevant subject with the start of the school year.
Fowsia Musse, a Somali living in Auburn since 2003, said Welcoming Maine has helped her feel welcomed in her own neighborhood.
“Even though I’m welcomed here and it’s very accommodating, I feel a lot of times a sense of not being at home,” said Musse.
For more information about Welcoming Maine, contact: