A PROGRAM OF THE SPERO PROJECT
Partnering with the resettled refugee community to ensure every new neighbor has access to tangible assistance and meaningful relationships essential to thriving in our city.
Who Are We?
"We are committed to mobilizing our community on behalf of international refugees who have become our neighbors in Oklahoma City. It is our firm belief that if the refugee community is embraced by individuals who offer friendship, commitment, and true community - our new neighbors will thrive in America. We are committed to humbling ourselves in service and friendship, knowing we have much to gain and much to learn."
-Brad and Kim Bandy, Founders of The Spero Project
The Common is a program of The Spero Project, a local 501(c)3 organization committed to know, love, and value our neighbors in under-resourced communities.
Who Are Our Neighbors?
"A refugee is a person who, owning to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for Reason of race, religion, nationality, membership of particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owning to such fear, unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country."
-1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees
Refugees come from all over the world. They represent families and individuals who have been forced to leave their homes because their lives and well-being have been threatened. Men and women, young and old, they travel long and dangerous paths to resettle themselves and their loved ones in a safer environment. We believe it is important to recognize and respect what our friends in the refugee community have experienced and to honor and serve them as Christ would have us.
How 'The Common' works:
By Cultivating Meaningful Relationships
Hosting community gatherings, celebrations
Being neighbors and friends
Cultivating networks of caring:
Health care professionals
Learning from classes/initiatives/mentoring led by our new neighbors.
And Providing Tangible Assistance
Support and assistance in areas of:
Job search, etc...
Educational transitions, enrollment
Medical needs & navigating systems
Navigating social service systems
After School Program
English Language Learning Classes & Tutoring
Critical care in emergency situations
On-site resources housed at a primary housing unit for the community:
Citizenship Test preparation
Education, life skills classes
We believe it is important to meet both the tangible and intangible needs of those in the refugee community. One thing we have learned from working with our friends in this community is that loving and engaging this community is nuanced. It does not often lend itself to short-term volunteer opportunities. The community has unique and variable needs. The partnerships we have established are with those who are able to fulfill a long-term, time-intensive commitment.
Who would you call if you needed a...doctor?...tutor?...directions or a ride?
When we don't know how to get from point A to point B, we use use our networks to find someone who does. Those who are part of Oklahoma City's refugee community often don't have these connections.
But you can help.
“The Spero Project is very important to our refugee community. They help us not to be scared and worry as we start new life here.”
-Quote from our neighbor from Burma-