Fresno non-profit hosts free classes for Afghan refugee kids

'We just want this to be a second home for them'

Kassandra Gutierrez Image
Wednesday, June 29, 2022
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Break the Barriers holds free gymnastics, Taekwondo, dance and English classes for Afghan refugee children.

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Words of encouragement and activity fill the gym at Break the Barriers.

The Fresno non-profit hosts free gymnastics, Taekwondo, dance and English classes for Afghan refugee children.

It's an experience they did not have in their home country during the Taliban takeover.

Tyler Hergenrader from Break the Barriers has been working for weeks to make this happen.

"We just want this to be a second home for them and allow them to be kids and have fun and enjoy the United States and all the US has provided for them and just bless them," says Hergenrader.

About a dozen children attend gymnastics and English class twice a week.

They are a part of the 40 Afghan refugee families living in Fresno.

Sara D'Acquisto is a volunteer coordinator at Cross City Christian Church.

Her church has been supporting a family during their move.

"This is a friendship, this isn't something that we will just check off the list. This is a deep relationship that we are seeking after," she says.

Cross City Christian Church and Bethany Christian Services helped gather the $6,000 needed to make the three-week summer program happen.

Nick D'Acquisto is the Missions Pastor at Cross City.

The goal is to help refugees build a community in Fresno.

"We just really wanted to emphasize with what they are dealing with and the struggle of being out of your own country and not speaking the language and having to figure out housing, work and meals and what to do with your kids," he says.

The gymnastics program and English courses wrap up this week..

Cross City Christian Church and Break the Barriers both hope to continue to host similar support programs in the future.