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News & Views of Phillips Since 1976
Friday July 19th 2024

Guri Nabad (Peace House) CHAT: Somali American Community

Our Guri Nabad (meaning: Peace House) CHAT, part of the Somali American Community nonprofit organization, is comprised of community leaders and individuals whose families are impacted by incidences of childhood asthma. We address the causes of these chronic conditions and offer tools to assist our families in coping with and managing these conditions. Part of our effort helps to identify community resources that can help our families successfully address issues surrounding asthma in our Somali community.

Many parents are ashamed, afraid or unwilling to address the issues surrounding their children”'s health conditions. This is especially true for parents with asthmatic children who fear that their children will be unable to participate in healthy physical activities. With language and cultural barriers that many people feel they have, they are less aware or less effective in reaching out to available resources and are sometimes afraid to ask for help. With our CHAT Team, we create a venue in which people can come together, speak about their health issues and together seek the resources most appropriate for addressing our children”'s asthma. Through our mosques, media, and personal word-of-mouth, we reach out to other families with similar conditions and situations.

To date, we have conducted asthma management trainings and assisted 17 children and their families. Families attend 10 asthma management sessions which occur 1-2 times a month. Since asthma is something that affects the entire family even though it may be experience by just one person in the family, we believe it is very important for the entire family to become educated about asthma and to understand what it is, the triggers, how episodes can be prevented and generally how to live more comfortably with this disease. By working with the entire family, our efforts have reached and impacted many more people.

Families involved with us do not just attend the support groups and receive asthma management training. We also accompany them to their child”'s school, day care center or health care provider to support them and help them and others to make the link between their child and the proper management of their child”'s asthma. It is important that our work also be conducted in a culturally appropriate manner.

The Somali American Community as an organization which helps Somali people in South Minneapolis with issues such as; immigration, becoming American citizens, health education, etc. Watch for a future article about the organization in The Alley Newspaper. For more information, please contact Mahamed Cali at

CHAT Members include: Abdi Hussein, Fatma Hassan, Hadsan Abdulle, Shirwa A-Jibril, Ubah Keynan, and Mahamed Cali

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