By Briana Gomez
December 6, 2018 (El Cajon) -- The annual El Cajon Multicultural Festival and non-profit fair at Eje Elementary School in El Cajon last month hosted an array of organizations dedicated to welcoming new immigrants into the community.
Dilkhwaz Ahmed of License to Freedom was one of the organizers along with other representatives from local organizations such as Wedad Schlotte of the San Diego ADC.
“We’ve been planning this for months,” said Ahmed. The event not only hosted various booths for organizations but also offered a free catered lunch of Mexican cuisine, and live entertainment provided for attendees. The entertainment included Aztec dancers, and a youth dance group dressed like skeletons in honor of the holiday that day – Dia de Los Muertos.
Yusef Miller of CAIR’s San Diego Chapter facilitated a booth representing CAIR and two of his own separate initiatives. The first is to gain breast cancer screening and awareness among immigrant populations from what Miller described as “modest cultures” who often neglect breast health due to modesty and cultural norms.
Miller’s other initiative was one of great importance in combating sex trafficking in the San Diego area.
“Often times these girls are still in school and living at home,” Miller said. He provides talks on recognizing if a young woman is involved in a sex trafficking ring. Some of the signs are a decrease in academics, depression, teen pregnancy, or a new partner who is older and grooms girls into the industry of illegal sex.
Miller’s talks often target immigrant and low income communities where young women are more susceptible to become victims of trafficking. While these talks are taboo in certain communities, Miller’s connection to CAIR makes him a trusted voice among the Islamic immigrant community in San Diego.
Also in attendance was the International Rescue Committee whose El Cajon office helps facilitate free vocational training courses marketed toward newcomers to the United States.
The event’s success depends largely on the availability of spreading information and continues to grow in attendance among new immigrants.t I