Akwaaba QC, a new nonprofit organization, is hosting an open house and luncheon on Saturday, Nov. 18 from noon to 3 p.m. at its office located at 1531 47th Avenue, Suite 2, Moline.

“Akwaaba” (which means “Welcome” in the Akan language in Ghana) is a new nonprofit led by area immigrants, who share the same linguistic and cultural background of the community they serve as defined by the makeup of its board of directors and the group’s leadership and management, according to a recent news release.

Akwaaba QC is established on a community navigators model. Community navigators are leaders of associations, faith-based organizations, churches or trusted persons in the community who speak the same languages of the community, the group release said.

Akwaaba QC, which helps welcome local immigrants and refugees, will have an open house in Moline this Saturday, Nov. 18.

The mission of Akwaaba QC is to welcome immigrants, refugees, migrants and asylum seekers in the Quad Cities by providing them with necessary training and information that will help them integrate into the local community and lead them to their full potential.

This is done through advocacy, collaboration and connection with community partners to ensure their successful integration into the community.

“The open house/luncheon gives us the opportunity to introduce Akwaaba QC to the Quad Cities community and share the services we are providing to the community we serve,” the release says.

Formed last year

The group was formed in November 2022, because in recent years, the QC area has experienced an influx of immigrants, refugees, migrants and asylum seekers, Akwaaba QC president/CEO Nana Ouro-Agoro said Thursday by e-mail.

Its mission is to welcome immigrants and refugees in the Quad Cities by providing them with necessary training and information that will help them integrate into the community and lead them to their full potential.

“This is done by advocating for immigrants and refugees, collaborating with appropriate service providers, directing them to available resources and connecting them with partners when necessary to ensure successful integration into the community,” Ouro-Agoro said. “The growing Rock Island community with a diverse immigrant population has created a lot of barriers in accessing the resources and services which ultimately became obsolete.

“The needs are there but the resources are very limited especially in legal services, employment, medical — especially mental health, social benefits to name some,” she said. “Also, there is no program design as Community Navigators in the Quad Cities area.”

The best way to reach out and to service the immigrant community is through their trusted people who are their community leaders, Ouro-Agoro said.

The Akwaaba QC’s community navigator model is unique in the area, she noted. It’s meant to bridge the gap between the community and nonprofit organizations like QCAIR (Alliance for Immigrants and Refugees) and World Relief, with the ultimate goal of providing support and resources to our community members, she said.

For more information, visit the group’s Facebook page HERE or contact Nana Ouro-Agoro, president/CEO of Akwaaba QC at akwaabaqc@gmail.com.