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About Us

The Somali Bantu Community Organization (SBCO) is a charitable non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that endeavors to educate and empower refugees and immigrants in Buffalo and Erie County…

…while preserving their traditions, languages and cultures to foster a dynamic community across Western New York. As the organization provides social and educational support services to the Somali Bantu refugee and immigrant community of Buffalo’s West Side, its programs include citizenship support, translation, interpretation, advocacy, an after school program for grades K through 8, a Say Yes Summer School program for grades K through 6, and the Somali Bantu Community Farm located in East Aurora, NY. The SBCO works in coordination and cooperation with others to help meet the needs of its population.

As a nonprofit organization, the SBCO’s board of directors oversees its committees and programs. In addition, it secures financial resources to fulfill its mission; provides financial oversight; ensures that all involved in the organization act in a legal and ethical manner; determines which programs are consistent with the organization’s mission; monitors program effectiveness. The Executive Director of the SBCO oversees the daily operations of the organization and makes day-to-day operational decisions.

What We Do

Resettling in a new place comes with many challenges. The SBCO was created to help refugees and immigrants transition to a new life. Services currently available include:

-Translation and interpretation for adults and children in Chizigula, May May, Somali and Swahili;

-Case management for adults and children, including social services, health care access, public school registration, immigration resources and other services;

-Dispute and conflict resolution within the community;

-After school program for refugee and immigrant children in grades K through 8, where homework assistance, academic skills building, mentoring and social integration are provided;

-Say Yes Summer School Program for refugee and immigrant children in grades K through 8

-Access to affordable produce through the Somali Bantu Community Farm.

Our Leadership


Ali Macheremo, President
Aweso Noor, Treasurer
Mahamud Mberwa
Murjan Issa
Sister Kathleen Dougherty
Maureen McCarthy
Doug Lum
Ibrahim Iftin, Executive Director