Experience Bridge connects resettled refugees with long term residents over a meal. Bridge received a grant to develop training to allow the business to expand into new communities.
Experience Bridge is an online platform to connect refugee host families to people in the community for a meal and cultural exchange – ‘Global Experienced Local’. New to Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Mustafa Nuur, a Somali refugee, found that by sharing his story and finding common ground with local people, he could overcome barriers and build lasting friendships with people who initially did not welcome him. Mustafa developed this for-profit social enterprise to address this issue through dinners between hosted by refugees who share their cuisine and exchange stories with guests. His business forayed into other ventures, such as pop-up gatherings between refugee hosts and locals. Refugee hosts receive approximately $900 in supplemental income per month.
Nuur has become an active member of the community. At the very start of the COVID-19 pandemic he led his team to deliver groceries to vulnerable people. He was forced to discontinue his services during the lock down. Instead he developed virtual opportunities to interact and increase connections between people.
A grant from Flore Foundation enables Bridge to create training, standardize experiences. It will teach refugees how to host, incorporate safety and legal requirements and allow Bridge to expand into new communities.
32 refugee host families to be trained
300+ hosted events
$900 per month in supplemental income for host families