Torus was founded in 2020 by Ramin Tokhi who was born in Kabul, Afghanistan, raised in Moscow, Russia and lives in Portland, Oregon. The organization was formed from Ramin’s experiences as a naturalized citizen in the US, as someone who learned to speak English, adding to Russian and Dari, and then learned to teach it as he rose through the ranks of partner organization People-Places-Things.

Torus bridges gaps between people and communities by facilitating transformative experiences of language and culture exchange. We do this work through our different programs. Among them are free online English classes where we match English language learners with volunteer teachers to practice English about the topics that matter in the real world! We believe in connectivity and a sense of belonging to a community for immigrants and refugees, as well as anyone who has been living in the US for generations.

Since 2020, Torus has been actively working with Oregon Health Authority to do community outreach and to educate immigrant and refugee populations about COVID-19. This work has led to several meaningful and impactful collaborations with other organizations in the Portland metropolitan area:

1. Torus has contracted with Rockwood CDC to bring community health workers from diverse backgrounds into our free online one-on-one English classes via zoom to talk about COVID-19. Learners were able to ask questions and learn more about COVID-19 from professionals while practicing English at the same time.

2. We have worked with Oregon's HealthShare Plan to conduct free English group classes online through zoom. We paid our learners stipends for showing up to 4 classes to learn about COVID-19. On average, we had about 20 learners showing up and a couple registrations for vaccines as a result of our efforts to educate our community about the vaccines.

3. From May 2021 to October 2021 Torus bilingual volunteers, English language learners, and staff have helped the Rosewood initiative to vaccinate community members in SE Portland. We have served the community by interpreting and translating, handing out water/food, managing crowd flow, distributing flyers, and registering our language learners for vaccination. We have been transforming our immigrant and refugee communities by providing linguistic and cultural access to different resources, mitigating language barriers, and helping to navigate the US systems while practicing English at the same time. Please check out our simple to navigate website:

Our next big transformative project is the launch of Torus app in January of 2022. Our goal is to meet the current need of COVID19 education for immigrants, refugees, & English language learners while setting us up for success with Torus's core programs post COVID. At first, the app will provide language accessibility, and simplified text information in English about COVID19 and vaccines translated into Dari and Russian. Then, as we go back to normal life, we are going to transform the app into a language learning and resources platform specifically for immigrant and refugee populations. Please join us to make a transformative impact in the lives of immigrants and refugees as well as language learners. (
Sustainable Development Goals
13 People | 6 Impacts | 31 Hours

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