In The Steps of Boaz
Who Are We?
A committed team of people who are passionate about loving our Somali Bantu neighbors unconditionally and serving them practically, as a demonstration of the love of Jesus.
What Do We Do?
We are driven by a desire to build authentic friendship, at its deepest level. In the context of these relationships, we work closely with the leadership of the Somali Bantu community of Pittsburgh to understand the community’s real and felt needs, and then we attempt to assist them in meeting those needs. Currently, as some examples, we:
• Teach conversational English in home settings.
• Find and connect them with resources and items of practical need, such as food, clothes, and furniture.
• Assist in the development of a non-profit community-run organization.
• Help in the design and implementation of a for-profit urban farming venture.
Who Are Our Somali Bantu Neighbors
In the early 1990s, thousands of Somali Bantu, consisting of the Magindo, Makua, Manyasa, Yao, Zalamo, Zigua tribes, were evicted from their homes in Somalia for demanding rights and protesting against discriminatory policies. They fled to Kenya, Ethiopia, and Yemen, where they lived in refugee camps managed by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR).
Coming to the United States seeking to rebuild their lives and searching for a better and brighter future, an estimated 1,000 Somali Bantu currently live in Pittsburgh, with more on the way. Most of the families live on the North Side. They arrive here with little to no possessions, and face employment challenges due to language and cultural barriers.