SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — The International Institute of Southwest Missouri is looking for volunteers.
Volunteers for their program sponsor refugees and help them adjust to living in the Midwest.
“We’re here mostly just to assist the family, to help them understand our culture and our ways to help them through the day-to-day processes,” said Linda Pegg, a volunteer. “If we run into problems we don’t know how to handle, we’ve got the institute to help us work through them. Our culture here is the total opposite of what they’ve been used to in Afghanistan: shopping is different, banking is different, ATMs, learning to drive.”
“We taught them how to figure the best price on things. We got the kids’ school clothes. We help them with immunization records,” said volunteer Becky Meadows.
Pegg has been working with the Rahimi family for months now.
KOLR 10, with help from his daughter asked him about his experience in Missouri.
“All of [the experiences] are good and the sponsors are good and they help us a lot,” said Mohammad Rahimi through his daughter’s translation.
Rahimi, a father of seven says there are still things he struggles with.
“Speaking is hard and talking to someone is hard,” Rahimi said.
Pegg says volunteering is a decision she has no regrets about.
“It’s interesting because I thought I was going into it purely to serve, but I’m the one that’s been blessed to have these people in my life,” Pegg said. “They’re just amazing and a joy to be with. If I’ve had a hard day, if I get 10 minutes with my Rahimi family, my spirits are up because they’re just an amazing, amazing family.”
A meeting for potential volunteers is on April 24 at 6:30 p.m. at The Library Station on Kansas Expressway.