ST. PETER, Minn. (KEYC) — The Horn of Africa Aid and Rehabilitation Action Network program, or HAARAN, kicked off the East African Elder Community Meal Program Thursday.
“This program will help us and educate ourselves of how we can help ourselves not to fall," said Nado Jama, a participant at the event.
As participant Nado Jama explains, the meal program is also a way for east African community members new to southern Minnesota to find resources, meet new people and more.
Leah Mahoney of the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership says the program has been in the works for two and a half years... and that socialization would be a big component.
She says the east African community was facing social isolation and barriers to accessing services.
Mahoney says one of those barriers is language.
“Also just coming to a new country, a new community, you don’t have those innate understanding of how a community is structured or what’s available to you.”
Now, along with a meal, the program will have different resources available during the event.
Thursday's event featured an occupational therapist.
The next meal will discuss the importance of voting.
“Because it helps them to know what’s out there,” Jama added.
Jama says every time participants attend, they will learn new information.