UNITED SOMALI BANTU COMMUNITY OF GREATER PITTSBURGH

 
Group of women laying in the grass at a Somali Bantu community event

OUR MISSION

Our mission is to build community amidst the Somali Bantu of Greater Pittsburgh through enabling individuals and families to successfully acclimate and transition to self-sufficient life in American society, particularly from a socio-economic and civic perspective, by both providing direct practical assistance and connecting people to other resources and opportunities.

VISION FOR THE FUTURE

Our vision is to see a unified, deeply connected, self-sufficient Somali Bantu community in the Greater Pittsburgh Region that is fully adapted and integrated into American society, while maintaining its unique cultural heritage and identity.

USB president speaking at a community event

SERVICE COORDINATION

This service helps connect families in the Somali Bantu community to other resource providers in the Pittsburgh area who are better suited to assist their needs. Our Service Coordinator and Intake Coordinator serve as the connectors to these resources and will help families navigate the application processes necessary as well as help them understand any requirements for these programs. The Service Coordinator also continually finds organizations who provide the resources needed by families. Below are some of the resources we help connect families to:

Practical and logistical assistance in setting up a new place of residence for families.

Assistance helping those seek and discover employment opportunities that match a person’s skill set.

Facilitation and distribution of donations of furniture, clothing, and food for families in the Somali Bantu community.

Professional counseling services, diagnosis, & treatment of mental health from traumatic events.

Assist community members in navigating the systems and structures of American society.

One-on-one instruction in home environments in the basics of conversational English.

We partner with the Western Pennsylvania Diaper Bank to provide diapers for families with young children or for elderly individuals.

CURRENT PROGRAMS

Below are our current, future, & coordinated programs for the Somali Bantu Community. To Sign up for a program you can click the button below and you will be taken to a sign-up form. Fill out your information and select the program you would like to sign up for. A volunteer will contact you if they need more information.

A place for school-age children to go after school and receive homework help as well as hang out with other children and have healthy role models to influence their lives.

Seasonal events that are designed to draw the community together around cultural heritage.

Financial assistance for those in the Somali Bantu community. Help with rent, child care, and transportation.

Access to resources for small-plot urban vegetable and fruit farming. Creating self-sufficiency.

Location for community members to gather in a safe environment and for events & other services.

Star inside of a circle icon

After-school & weekend classroom for children and youth (aged 6-17) educating the cultural and religious heritage of the Somali Bantu community.

American Flag inside of a circle icon

Adult classroom education for new families to the US to assist them in understanding the new culture.

FUTURE PROGRAMS COMING SOON

Two hands holding a heart icon

Day Care Center (targeted implementation 2024)

Community-based, culturally-sensitive day care option during employment hours.

Transportation option for those in the community who need a means to travel to their place of employment.

Airplane icon

Travel Agency Services (targeted implementation 2022)

Booking option for community members who desire to travel to see family domestically or internationally.

Key icon

Resettlement Services (targeted implementation 2023)

A direct provision of resettlement services for those who are arriving as refugees in the US.

 

United Somali Bantu of Greater Pittsburgh 2020/2021 Board Roster 

Board Of Directors

Halima Hassan (Chairman) (Community Elder)

Siraji Hassan (President) (Director USB)
Fatuma Muhina (Vice President Board) (Service Coordinator USB)

Muna Adan (Treasurer) (Secretary) (Housing Authority City Pittsburgh, Northview Heights)

Dadiri Molambo (Community Elder)
Hassan Ahmed (Community Elder)
Haji Sundi (Community Elder)
Hamadi Mahitula (Community Elder) 

Advisory Committee

David Groetzinger Organizational (In the Steps of Boaz)
Adam Argondizzo Design (Antlers to Peaks Photography, II-VI Inc.)
Ryan Driscoll Legal (Christian Immigration Advocacy Center (CIAC) 

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Where does the Somali Bantu community in Pittsburgh live?


The majority of the community lives in Northview Heights, but there are families scattered in other neighborhoods of the North Boroughs such as Bellevue, Brighton Heights, and Avalon. There are also some families in the East Liberty area, McKees Rocks and a few surrounding areas.




When did the Somali Bantu refugees start arriving in Pittsburgh?


Many of the families began arriving to Pittsburgh in 2004. But, others have continued to arrive either directly from refugee camps or by migrating to Pittsburgh from other states to be with family and a community that speaks their language.




What are the primary languages spoken by the Somali Bantu community?


The primary languages spoken by the Somali Bantu are Chizigula and Maay Maay.




Who are the Somali Bantu?


The Somali Bantu are a people group who were brought to Pittsburgh as refugees from the country of Somalia after spending over 20 years in refugee camps along the Somali borders. They originate from the Jubba Valley which is in southern Somalia between the Jubba River and Shabelle River. The Somali Bantu were agricultural farmers in Somalia and worked this area of fertile land to grow crops for their families and villages. They primarily follow Muslim faith practices and traditions and are very welcoming and friendly people who desire to learn to know their neighbors in the Pittsburgh region. Check out these pages to learn more about the culture and why they are coming to the United States. Who Are We? Why Did We Leave Home? What is it like to Live in a Refugee Camp? What is it like to Live in the United States? Our Culture & Heritage




Where are the Somali Bantu from?


The Somali Bantu are originally from the Jubba Valley in Somalia with is a narrow valley between the Jubba River and Shabelle River.




Who are the Jareer?


The word Jareer is a derogatory term the Somali Bantu were often referred to by tribes who were over them. The word refers to the way Somali Bantu hair is tightly curled. But it was used in a very negative way. It would be very shameful and disrespectful to refer to any Somali Bantu with this term.




How can I support the work of the United Somali Bantu of Greater Pittsburgh?


You can support United Somali Bantu of Greater Pittsburgh (USB) by donating either by money or through In Kind donations. You can also support us by making others aware of our organization or by volunteering at our events that we hold in the community.