Leaders of Maine’s many immigrant communities are working around the clock to get their communities the latest information about how to stay safe and prevent the spread of germs during the Covid-19 crisis. WhatsApp and Facebook networks are favorite forms of communication.
Virtual working groups linking leaders of different associations and nonprofits have formed and are meeting regularly. Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Maine Center for Disease Control (CDC), held a virtual conference at the request of immigrant groups on March 13. The conference included over 80 people and targeted the specific needs of immigrant communities (https://www.amjamboafrica.com/immigrant-leaders-convene-meeting-to-discuss-coronavirus-and-their-communities/).
Amjambo Africa has created a Covid-19 button that links to videos, fact sheets, and articles about the virus in six languages. The intent is to help the 15K+ African immigrants in Maine who have limited English stay up-to-date. We plan to include more languages on our website in the very near future. Some of the material is drawn from a central google drive repository of videos and fact sheets in many languages that is being hosted by Inza Ouattara of Catholic Charities of Maine, with representatives from Maine Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (MIRC), Portland Public Schools, the Immigrant Resource Center of Maine, and many other organizations contributing to the cache. In addition to these materials, Amjambo Africa is publishing daily articles updating our readers on the latest recommendations to come from Dr. Nirav Shah, Governor Janet Mills, local leaders, the World Health Organization, and the Center for Disease Control.
Nsiona Nguizani, president of the Angolan Community Association of Maine, as well as cultural broker for the City of Brunswick, shared his second letter in Portuguese to the Angolan community on March 21. See https://www.amjamboafrica.com/pt-pt/angolan-community-of-maine-acm-coronavirus-covid19-update/ to read the update.