Church World Service's program Language Beyond Borders is the brainchild of Amer Al Fayadh, a refugee resettled in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. As he became involved in his new community, he recognized that some refugees had a skill in understanding multiple languages while other people desperately needed help communicating. To put refugees to work and provide a service that supports low income people, Amer convinced Church World Service to create Language Beyond Borders (LBB).
They began their effort and determined that they needed seed funding to increase brand recognition and broaden their reach. When the COVID-19 pandemic arrived in the Lancaster region, LBB resources were greatly sought after to increase access to the public service messages among non-english speakers and patients in hospitals. Organizations involved in early childhood education to local government and health care facilities all benefited from the Flore Foundation grant, receiving translation and interpretation services. LBB reported that Flore Foundation funding led to over $32,000 in business and employed nearly 40 individuals.
Our grant spurred other funders to invest in LBB and in December Amer announced the opening of Communication Essentials, LLC, his very own social enterprise. As a part of Amer's vision, his business provides diversity training that is geared towards bridging the chasm between cultures. He correctly states his enterprise delivers "Communication Redefined." Amer is not only concerned with increasing employment opportunities for refugees and immigrants and improving communication, he also believes in teaching cultural awareness in order for for-profit and non-profit entities to better serve their constituents. This unique combination is a differentiator among interpretation service providers. Flore Foundation is proud to support Communication Essentials!