Hubert Matumaini sees a problem that needs solving in Dayton, his home of 13 years: the language barrier. He’s already bridging it in certain settings. A leader in Dayton’s Burundian community, he coordinates the public schools’ welcome center, offering classes in English as a second language to new students and their parents.

Now, with entrepreneurship training from AFSC, he is starting a translation business to help African immigrants carry out critical conversations in doctors’ offices, school systems, and courts, where miscommunication could lead to serious damage.

The Welcome Dayton Plan motivated him to start the business. Other immigrants are also embracing the opportunity: in the halls of AFSC’s office, there’s talk of bringing fair trade goods from Africa and starting a coffee roasting cooperative operated and owned by African immigrants.

Learning how to run businesses in the American marketplace

Program Director Migwe Kimemia explains the thinking behind AFSC's entrepreneurship training for refugees in Dayton:

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Video: AFSC/Jon Krieg