Diane Baker is a long time Nashua resident and a retired developmental disabilities social worker who answered the Call to Volunteer
in more ways than one. “When I got a call to mentor a young man from Sudan I thought, I don’t have a car, I have some trouble walking, but I’ll go for it, he only lives a few blocks away. He’s my neighbor so of course I should help him.”
Mohamed Noufal is a young man from Sudan who came by himself to the United States. Mohamed was the first Sudanese refugee to be resettled in Nashua New Hampshire by Lutheran Social Services (now Ascentria Care Alliance).
Once Diane and Mohamed were introduced they quickly got to work! “Well the first thing I did was teach him the bus system because I don’t have a car. He knows it like the back of his hand now,” Diane chuckled. “We go grocery shopping and he always carries my bags as well as his own. He’s a very respectful young man and very
intelligent. He picks up quick! He’s learning English a lot faster than I’m learning Arabic, but I’m trying! I’ve been very pleased with how welcoming the community has been to him everywhere we go.”
When Mohamed was asked to describe Diane, he smiled and said “Kind, kind, kind. She is so kind to me. She teaches me everything. I know how to get to English class by myself and I go three times each week. She is learning my language [Arabic] too. She is always kind to me.”
“I love when there’s a good fit between a volunteer and a New American and the relationship that forms is mutually beneficial. For Diane and Mohamed this is definitely the case. It was commendable for Diane to accept my call and agree to volunteer as a mentor for Mohamed.” - Beth Seremet, Community Outreach Coordinator, Services for New Americans, NH.