Meet Laura and Samiya! Laura is one of our volunteer ESL tutors and Samiya is her student! They have a beautiful story. Laura wrote out some of their story, read it below!
Whoever said, “it takes a village,” knew what they were talking about.
In addition to the ESL tutors, there are many generous, kind, hard-working people in our community who I’ve joined forces with to help my wonderful student, Samiya Issa, and her family.
Samiya and her Kurdish family (her husband and three daughters) had to flee Syria. Many of her family members were killed. They left their homes, business, and family and fled to Iraq where they lived in a refugee camp for 8 YEARS. They came to St. Louis in Nov. 2021, and since then, have been living in a 2-bedroom apartment.
After meeting Samiya, I learned that she was 6 months pregnant, her husband works over 12 hours every day at a factory, her three daughters go to school to learn English (and everything they missed while in the refugee camp).
Samiya is one of the kindest and most generous women I’ve ever known. We clicked right away, and I’m thrilled at how hard she’s working to learn English. When I come to tutor, she's always has her homework finished and has a new cake or Middle Eastern dish for me.
I focus on ESL, while Samiya’s family partners have done EVERYTHING ELSE to help the family get food stamps, baby items, get to the doctor, get their driver’s permits, etc. etc. I’ve been blown away by their generosity and hours upon hours of work.
Unfortunately (I know they all hated being away!), they were out of town the week that Samiya was due. When Samiya has to be induced, I was honored she asked me to stay with her while she had her beautiful baby boy, Milad.
Thanks to Samiya’s two friends who speak Kurdish who were with us; and the fact that HOO HOO HEE is basically universal; both mom and baby Milad were perfect.
The icing on the cake was when Samiya asked me if I would be Milad’s ‘Grandmother’. I told her that I never want to take the place of her mother, but I would be honored a ‘Godmother’ to her baby.
Once again, “it takes a village,” and I’m honored to be one of the members of that village. ...