Because of the socio-economic status of the Somali Bantu in Africa, most have had little to no access to formal education. As such, many are increasingly restricted by their lack of education and job skills, as well as their inability to communicate in English.
Approximately 95% of all community members (totaling over 600 individuals in Chittenden County alone) are illiterate in English, 90% are illiterate in their native language, Somali Maay Maay. They are consequently relegated to service positions, if employed, with little to no opportunity for upward mobility.
The Vital Information Service Project was created to address these needs. As such it provides focused case management and job skills development workshops to aid individuals in overcoming barriers to employment, educational opportunities, or human services aid.