Area's Muslims Reach Out to Somali Bantu Immigrants

September 11, 2009

Author: Annysa Johnson

Source: The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

When the local Somali Bantu community began arriving in Milwaukee in 2003, people came with little more than the clothes on their backs.

Largely illiterate, few spoke English. And little in their decade in the refugee camps of Kenya, where they'd fled Somalia's civil war, prepared them for life in the United States.

It's been a difficult adjustment for many of the Bantu, as families struggled to maintain their religious and cultural identities while navigating the complexities of American society and its laws.

Now, their fellow Muslims are working to ease that transition, offering a series of educational programs aimed at helping the Somali Bantu better assimilate.