Mon June 23, 2008
Somalis Adapt to Life In Kansas City
By Susan Wilson
Kansas City, MO – Leaving a familiar place and relocating is difficult for most of us. But imagine how difficult it would be to adjust to a new country and culture thousands of miles away.
This is the case for the 700 families from Somalia who have made the Northeast Kansas City their home. Most Somalis come to Kansas City as refugees from the civil war in Somalia. But once they arrive, life is not as easy as expected. Somali refugees faced a new set of problems--culture shock, language barriers and poverty. Some Somalis suffer from post traumatic stress disorder-- psychological problems caused by war trauma. But getting mental health treatment for this is not typical in Somali culture.
The Somali Foundation was founded in 1999 to provide social services designed to help East African refugees adjust to life in Kansas City. KCUR's Susan Wilson recently visited the group's offices at Saint Aloysius Church in the Northeast and talked with Executive Director Farah Abdi.