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News and resources regarding COVID-19

Immigration and Refugee Advocates Work to Get the Message Out About COVID-19

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Refugee and immigrant-led organizations in Iowa are banding together to provide information on COVID-19 in ten different languages.  

The program through the group Embarc is mainly targeting Iowans from Burma and Central and East Africa. 

Siouxland Public Media’s Sheila Brummer with a look at what is being done locally to reach out to minority communities.

When it comes to the COVID-19 pandemic there is concern not everyone is getting the message. 

Erica DeLeon is the Director of One Siouxland, a community initiative group that advocates for immigrants and refugees.  

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Credit Siouxland Public Media
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ERICA DELEON - ONE SIOUXLAND

“A lot of folk might speak languages that aren’t connected and we might not have interpreters so there’s that change and then there’s people who won’t necessarily have those connections.”

DeLeon says several organizations and school districts have stepped forward to reach out to non-English speaking communities. 

Plus, businesses have taken extra steps to help protect employees, including Tyson Foods.

“They started doing temperature checks really early on and putting many measures in place.  These are essential services.  They need to keep making for the county.”

DeLeon also says before the pandemic, the Mary Treglia Community House recently teamed up Siouxland Public Media to offer newscasts in several different language. It’s estimated almost 19% of people living in Sioux City speak a language other than English at home.

“To provide more information, especially about COVID and other things people need to know.”

“I think the additional concern is we have three states, three governors, and three health department in addition to all the federal regulations and what those differences are.” 

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SOMOLI TRANSLATOR HALIMA OSMAN

The newscasts can be heard in Spanish, Oromo and Somali and can be found on the station website kwit.org and on several podcast platforms.

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OROMO NEWS READER AND TRANSLATOR FATIYA ADAM