BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — The Global AIM Friendship and Resource Center has been located in Bakersfield for the past seven years. Its goal is to offer tools and support for Asian Indian communities.
The center has helped over 200 individuals and continues to grow. The center is one of 11 across the country.
The center in Bakersfield offers English language classes, citizenship classes, housing placement, counseling and more.
"I am so privileged and blessed to be here and I like helping anybody," said Balvinder Gill, a teacher volunteer. "To me these girls, yes I help them, but they help me. I feel blessed to be here and given this opportunity."
Gill has been volunteering for the past four years and was inspired by the mission of the center, which is providing friendship and welcoming all.
"One of the things we are doing brand new in 2020 is, we are going to do full tours this year into the Sikh community," said Simon Gounder, executive director for Global AIM Friendship and Resource Center.
"You can meet Sikh families and go to the Sikh temple and get a tour."
Gounder, says that the number one concern for the Sikh community is learning English.
That is why the center offers a one-time fee of $25 for unlimited English classes. The classes are available during the center's hours.
The days of operation are Monday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for two-hour classes.
"We also have a computer lab where we teach them basic computer [skills]," Gounder said. "And we help people with putting together resumes and apply for jobs."
Gounder and his team share they are all a tight-knit community. He says they felt the need to bring a center here to offer safe support for Asian Indian communities.
"This is very important for the Indian community, I am an Indian we don’t talk about our issues because we feel that we don’t want anyone to know," Gounder said. "You need to know when you walk into our center, we will not leak it out to anybody, but direct you to the right place."
The center says in 2020 they are looking to create more coaches for families and younger people.
Also, they are hoping to expand the center to help students with homework help.
To contact the center please call 661-390-8978.