A special thanks to IWF Grant Partner Lutheran Services in Iowa for sharing this story.


Meet Asho Ali

The LSI Child Care Provider Training and Business Development program provides refugee and immigrant women with the language and cultural information they need to become registered child care providers or knowledgeable child care providers who can work in family homes. It fills gaps in the refugee and immigrant providers’ capacity to prepare for and run their own home-based business, and gives them confidence to run their business. Sometimes, these women who have fled persecution in their homelands are the ones who teach just as much as the staff does. One such woman is Asho Ali.


Determination Goes a Long Way

Asho came to America from a challenging homeland where she was unable to find safety for herself and her daughter Nasro. When she arrived in the United States as a refugee, she brought with her determination, love for family, and a willingness to keep learning. She began her journey as a home child care provider in 2013, and set out to attend trainings and complete all steps needed to run a successful business.

Asho listened intently during classes and synthesized the new information with her prior experience raising her children overseas. When child care providers were offered the chance to learn more about applying relationship skills to working in child care, she jumped at the chance, even though it meant more evenings away from home. In class, she didn’t just learn—she shared from her experiences as a respected woman in her community and in doing so, helped the other participants.

Since completing the program, Asho has been a child care provider for 12 children, and her business is located in a busy rental community which incudes many refugee families. Her dedication allows other parents who fled persecution the opportunity to earn income while their children are cared for.

Asho is well-respected and honored within her ethnic community. She has created a warm, welcoming home for her family and the children in her care. Oftentimes, friends come to her for advice about parenting, relationships, the child care business, and other matters. She encourages women to believe in themselves, to accept training whenever they can, and even to consider becoming child care providers through the LSI training program.


Passing On the Love

Asho’s adult daughter, Nasro, assists with the business by transporting her mother to classes, running errands, and dealing with phone calls in English so her mother can keep her focus on the children in her care.

Asho’s impact on her daughter shows their relationship is mutually beneficial. With guidance and support from Asho and training from LSI, Nasro now provides care in a neighbor’s home where four children are growing up. As a ripple effect of Asho’s actions and her zest for learning, Nasro studied with a tutor so she could pass her naturalization interview and test to become a United States citizen.

LSI is proud to empower refugee women like Asho and Nasro. LSI will also offer its technical support to other Iowa communities which include refugee and immigrant women who would like to become registered child care providers, and has been fortunate to receive IWF funding to do just that in 2018.

With training, encouragement, and a bit of troubleshooting from time to time, capable women who have overcome adversity can and do regain a sphere of influence and sense of community engagement in their new Iowa home of opportunity.


Click here to watch our Creating Pathways to Success video and learn more about LSI’s Refugee Child Care Training program.