Imagine being a parent of a teenage and younger children in a new country without understanding the language, culture or norms of the place. Imagine being a parent without any money in your hands. Imagine working 2-3 jobs just to provide basic shelter and food to your children and never having enough time or money to learn English or better job skills to get out of the hole that you have been in as a refugee or an uneducated, displaced or poor person in a subsidized housing surrounded by drug dealers and gangsters.
How hard it would be for you to protect and raise your children. Would you go to some work to meet the basic needs of your children? Or would you stay home to make sure that your children are not left outside the home without food and a place to go after school? What would you do with your teenager? How would you check on their friends? How would you keep them away from the drugs and gangs?
Unlike you, majority refugee parents in the Wedgewood Village Apartments don't have to use their imaginations for such circumstances. They live it every single day. Some of them are in this hole for years. Some of them have already lost their children to gangs and drugs. But majority of them are still struggling real hard to keep their children safe. They are sending their children to schools and are dreaming of a day when their children will become educated, successful, and productive citizens of this country.
These parents need your help. You can help them save their children now.
In the last 15 months, I have had several meetings with the parents in this community. We have talked about the need of various classes and programs to make sure that they succeed as a parent. As a result, we have already started much-needed evening ESL classes in the neighborhood. That are being held two times a week. Our instructor, Lori Welsh, is doing an amazing job of teaching everyday language through hands-on exercises. The attendance is increasing by every week.
We have also partnered with the Legal Aid, Columbus Police Division, Shalom Zone of Greater Hilltop Area, United Way of Central Ohio and many other organizations and agencies to bring the needed programs to the parents on weekly basis.
But organizing these weekly programs are costly. We have to pay for the custodian, interpreters, food for the parents that come directly from their work, and for the program coordinator salary. We need your help. Your donations can help us empower these parents and save their children from drugs and gangs, Your donations can get them out of this hole of poverty and could help them start a prosperous life in a couple years, God willing.
I hope you would join hands with us and would like to send us monthly or one time donations to support these moms and dads. Please keep them and their children in your prayers too. May God help all parents. May He always protect and guide our children and keep them away from all kinds of evil. Ameen.
In Solidarity with Youth & Families,
Founder & Executive Director,
MY Project USA
Unfortunately, some people have allowed hate and fear to drive their actions -- an anonymous person has started a change.orgpetition calling on the City of Columbus to shut down the Wedgewood community, which has a large population of Somali Muslim immigrant and refugees.
This petition has become an online ground for hundreds of people to spew hate against the Wedgewood community. Our Unity March is to trump their hate by showing love and support to the children and families in this apartment complex. We will march through the community to show that we support the MY Project USA's young leaders of the Wedgewood Village working together to build a safer, healthier, more equitable community.
A Benefit Dinner To Support Orphans, Refugees & Needy In Dayton
This event is for the entire Community. Its purpose is to kick off the efforts to address hunger, poverty, domestic violence, drugs, gangs, unemployment and many other social issues within Dayton Muslim and non-Muslim Community both. This initiative is being launched per the request of Mayor Whaley and it’s in collaboration with all major Dayton Muslim organizations. This work would be done under MY Project USA Dayton Chapter.
Shannon Isom, President & CEO, YWCA Dayton
Dr. Khalid Kebbati, Executive Director of Noor Islamic Cultural Center
Zerqa Abid, Founder & Executive Director of MY Project USA
Book Your Seat Now, Seats Are Limited
Early Bird Sale Ends On March 15
Main Hall: $50/seat
Book a Table. Save $50
Table of 10: $450/Table
Students (Age 11 & Up): $35/Seat
Childcare (under 11 year old): $25/child
The 2018 Maple Syrup Festival at Camp Lazarus We learned how real maple syrup is made in the Adams Mullins Sugar Shack!
We have 60 kids enrolled in our weekly Boy Scout programs and more kids are joining the program every week. We are focused on our Wedgewood and Hilltop community. Our Boy Scout of America Troop's scouting meetings are held at Wedgewood Middle School every Mondays. Our Wedgewood Youth Leaders are enrolled in the venturing program. Since we have recently enrolled all of our boys from The Hilltop Tigers Soccer Team in the program, their scouting meetings are every Thursdays at the Wedgewood's Community room. On Friday, we are at Eakin Elementary School with our Boy Scouts Packs for their scouting meetings.
On Saturday, March 10th, we went to the Maple Syrup Festival at Camp Lazarus in Delaware. We took 11 of our BSA Troops, 2 of our BSA Packs and 4 of our BSA Ventures to a fun day at Camp Lazarus. We had a lot of fun exploring and we learn how real maple syrup is made in the Adams Mullins Sugar Shack. The activities were so much fun and our kids especially loved BB shooting, leatherworking, branding irons, and pioneer area with a blacksmith. Maple Syrup is not the only fun event we have planned for them. They have also explored Camp Lazarus because that is where they will be camping once a month for a weekend and a whole week in the summer. We have seen a positive impact in the kids' behavior and a big attitude change because of the fun and educational activities. We are so happy that we, MY Project USA, have partnered with Boy Scouts of America.
MY Project USA- Dayton chapter is looking for a part-time Outreach coordinator and Executive Assistant for their Dayton office.
The Community Outreach Coordinator (COC) works directly under the supervision of the Executive Director. This individual is responsible for cultivating strategic partnerships through community outreach activities. They reach out to Dayton Muslim organizations, social services and other agencies to build relationship through social events and mutual community services projects. This individual also develops sponsorship/business arrangements and relationships with businesses, individuals, schools and other organizations interested in collaborating with MY Project USA in addressing drugs, gangs, family violence, gun violence and other issues by protecting and empowering youth and families in the underserved, refugee and immigrant communities.
Wedgewood Youth Programs Boy Scouts of America | Reading Warriors | Girls Clubs
We have 125 kids enrolled in our weekly programs and more kids joining the program every week. We are focused on our Wedgewood and Hilltop community. Boy Scouts: On Mondays, we are at Wedgewood Middle School with our Boy Scout Troops. From 3:30-6:30pm, the first three hours we have movie time and homework help and the last hour we have our scouting meeting.
Our Wedgewood Youth Leaders are enrolled in the venturing program. Every Monday evenings at Wedgewood Middle School from 6:30-7:30pm, they are enrolled in the BSA Ventures program where they learn life skills and plan monthly field trips to implant the life and leadership skills they have learned.
We have recently enrolled all of our boys from The Hilltop Tigers Soccer Team in the Boy Scout program every Thursdays at the Wedgewood's Community room. From 3:30-6:30pm, they are helped with homework or participating in educational activities. The last hour is their scouting meetings are held.
On Friday, we are at Eakin Elementary School with our Boy Scouts. From 3:30-6pm, the first two and a half hours we have homework help and educational game stations and the last hour we have our scouting meeting.
Wedgewood Reading Warriors: On Tuesdays, we are at the Wedgewood office with our Wedgewood Warriors. This is a program that was started by our very own Samira Mohamud and Wedgewood Youth Leaders two years ago and till this day they continued this book club with many kids who are locked out of their homes after school.
Girls Clubs: Eakin Girls Club Meetings for elementary school girls ar on Friday at Eakin Elementary. We are there from 3:30-6pm, the first two and a half hours we have homework help and educational game stations and the last hour we have our scouting meeting.
On Friday night, we are at the Wedgewood office from 6:30-8pm with our Wedgewood Youth Leaders and girls 14+ for Girls’ Night. During this hour and a half, we bond with our amazing girls and have heart to heart venting sessions.
In 2018, our main focus program-wise would be on these programs:
Highschool Education Committee to help them graduate on time and to help them address any issues at their school . This committee will also keep youth away from drugs and gangs.
Youth Leaders Development to foster these youth as the leaders, mentors, counselors and big brother, big sisters of their own community.
Resident Council Training & Development to help refugee and less– informed residents understand their rights and responsibilities, so they could help foster a healthy and safe environment for their families. This council would also help address the crimes in the neighborhood as well.
Parent Education to empower refugee and less-informed parents with the skills and knowledge that could help them raise their children as healthy and productive American citizens.
MY Deah’s Warehouse to become a self sufficient organization by 2020. We are following the model of Goodwill Stores. Donations collected from the community are given to the needy community members or are being sold to help empower the community members through other services.
2018 Capacity Building Goals
We Aim to Double Our Services
Wedgewood Youth Leaders
Wedgewood Resident Leaders
Soccer Team (s)
Employees & Interns
Children/Youth in Programs
2018 Civic Engagement Goals
Women Empowerment, Gun Violence, Environment Protection & More
This year, we will train youth to become leaders in their areas of interest. We will partner with many organizations to work with mainstream communities focusing on the following areas.
Voter Registration & Turning Out Vote in Elections
Immigration Rights & Sanctuary Movement
Gun Safety & Prevention of Gun Violence
Environment Protection with special Focus on Clean Water Preservation in Columbus
Women Empowerment with special Focus on
Female Genital Mutilation (FGM)
We are looking for youth leaders to take lead in this initiatives. We will provide them training and support they might need.