Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Did You Know......

Did you know that in East African cultures it is a gesture of hospitality to offer guests in your home food or a drink. Many East Africans will become offended if this gesture is refused.

Other displays of proper etiquette in East African countries are....

Accepting gifts and handshaking with the left hand is inappropriate.

East Africans are very private people. Trust is a major factor in communication because many East Africans will not share information with people that they do not trust.

Eye contact is not always advised. It is courteous and respectful to not hold eye contact for long periods of time.

Pointing a finger is also a sign of disrespect in most East African countries. If you must point it is best to nod your head in the direction that you want to point or use an open hand instead of a single finger.

Learn More:



Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Anna Sibley began her Americorps ACCESS term with the African Services Coalition in the summer of 2011. Prior to joining the ASC family Anna received her Public Health Education Masters Degree from UNCG. Originally from Raleigh, Anna has lived in Greensboro for the past two years. Anna is a case manager for the TAG program at African Services Coalition. Below she shares a story of her time with the agency:
"A story that makes me grateful to work at African Services:

I was recently able to meet a young woman from Sudan who had come to the U.S. on a visa and was then granted asylum status. Her name is Hanna. She came to the office with her older sister, Sosan, in hopes of enrolling in some social services. I found out that Hanna and Sosan had recently moved to North Carolina from Virginia and had been unable to get any benefits (food stamps, Medicaid) while in Virginia. Apparently the social services department turned Hanna away because they only provided services for refugees and not asylees.

I learned that Sosan is a physician practicing at Moses Cone Hospital and that Hanna studied civil engineering in Sudan. She is currently taking English classes and hopes to enroll at a university so that she can continue her studies. Since her sister is relatively well off, Hanna will not have to take a menial job to make ends meet and can focus entirely on school. However, any benefits she could receive would make life that much easier for her and her sister.

I was able to take Hanna and Sosan to the Greensboro Dept of Social Services. After waiting a few hours we were able to get an interview for that afternoon. The social worker got Hanna enrolled for food stamps, Medicaid, and cash assistance.

The sisters were both so gracious and appreciative and it was a true pleasure to work with them and get to know them."
Hanna and Sosan are only a few of the many that ASC assists on a daily basis. Through Anna's commitment and time a part of their burden was lightened. Please check back for more stories from our staff, interns and volunteers.