“If I sit outside on my front porch in Binghampton between 3 and 5 o’clock in the afternoons, I can easily see people from all parts of the world walking down my street on their way to ESL classes or to pick up their children from school. There is so much diversity in my neighborhood, so many refugee families, and I want to be able to talk to them. There is beauty and strength in every culture, but you can’t really understand the culture until you can speak the language. Our family moved to Germany when I was 7, so I grew up bilingual and have always loved languages. I studied French in school, and I’m currently working on Nepali, Swahili, and Somali so that I can communicate with the people I work with, live around, and go to church with. My vocabulary is still very limited, but it’s improving."
Sarah Brukaber, Ekata Designs Manager: “Ekata Designs was started as a ministry to help refugees and to build relationships, but then it grew into a business. I didn’t start it, but it was handed to me three years ago. Since then, I’ve worked with about 30 women, helping them learn new skills and earn extra income.”