The Tapestry Project: building a strong community one thread at a time
The Tapestry Project is a collaborative effort of MN Council of Churches (MCC), City of Mankato, and Lloyd Management to co-facilitate a seven week class to address specific barriers to self-sufficiency by providing Housing, Parenting, Safety and Health education to refugees and former refugees living in the Mankato area.
The educational tools gained through this project provide proactive problem-solving strategies and foster stability for refugee families. With an emphasis on community engagement, this project builds active roles for community volunteers, or “Community Connectors.” These individuals provide welcome, offer words of encouragement and share life experience relating to the specific class topics. Community Connectors help create a thread of social connections and grow personally through their own cross-cultural learning experience. This community-facilitated approach is based on the idea that learning comes not just from a traditional classroom environment but also from the sharing of life experiences of all community members.
This project has been recognized as a best practice for its collaborative public-private partnerships which complement both national refugee community integration as well as international community policing models.