Karen Community Office

Saw Khu

By Pa Naw Dee
Karen Society of Nebraska-Lincoln
June 07, 2014

A place that brings our community together and serves as a meeting point is our community offices. They are the hub where we support each other and lead our community forward toward achieving ultimate self-sufficiency. Many refugees visit the offices for help reading and understanding the wide variety of letters they receive in the mail, filling out application forms, setting up appointments, finding employment, receiving immigration services and using the computer lab. We serve all refugees and immigrants from Burma (Myanmar) who now call Nebraska their home. The KSN is a bridge between the refugee community, resources,  community organizations and agencies. We are supported by churches, schools and individuals. Due to widespread community support and volunteerism, The KSN has two community offices to serve refugees from Burma as a result.

A brief history of the Karen Office, Lincoln: Karen people who have more English have been helping others in the community to read their mail. In March of 2009, Martha Sorenson from First Baptist Church was asked to start working in an apartment, reading mail and setting up appointments. In 2013, the landlord, Jon Carlson, donated one apartment for a Karen office. The Center for People in Need, is paying the utilities, telephone and supporting everything that the office requires, including a number of computers for classes. Two of their AmeriCorps volunteers have taken charge of the office and are setting up classes.

Seven Four and his mother at award ceremony
Martha Sorson from First Baptist Church serving many clients each day by volunteer at Kare office Lincoln.

To have a better transition for their daly life, it is important for new americans to learn basic computer skill for thise day. Many clients using computer by learning basic typing skill, using email and internet, filling out online application forms.

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A brief history of the Karen Office, Omaha: In 2005, the Karen population was growing and the needs as well and we were helping each other at home and at church. Since 2009, we have had a church office serving the community and many went to K' yaw Poe Asia Market to get help. In 2011, Land Mark donated an apartment for the community's use. The Karen office serves refugees from Burma; 20 to 30 clients each day, reading mail, filling out application forms, and setting up appointments.

Rosanna roland serving at Omaha office location by reading mail like electric, gas, insurance bill, appointment letter, court letter, police ticket, DHHS letter and many more.

Many proples form our community come to office to get help filling out application forms: food stamps, Medicaid,job application. Many come to get help to setup appointments: dentist, doctor, school, and reschedule appointments, etc..

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