“Of all the hardships a person had to face, none was more punishing than the simple act of waiting.” -Khaled Hosseini
Hosseini’s quote captures the experience of many refugees. Some come from areas experiencing natural disasters. Some, from starvation. Many, from war. Of those refugees who do make it to safety experience a different kind of waiting- be it for international intervention, a wait for safety, or waiting for the long process of acclimation and integration to be completed. Unfortunately, there are few if any remedies for satiating the unease and adjustments a refugee feels when she leaves her home country for a new place altogether. But, there are many ways to support these people as they adjust to new lives in a new place.
Integration into a new culture, a new society takes a lot of time. The Afghan refugee crisis will last years, as people fleeing persecution and death adjust to a new life halfway around the world, in a new country altogether. Three recent Afghan fund grantees are working now, and in the coming weeks and months to help these refugees create a better life in their new homes in Northern Virginia.
Neighborhood Health | $9,500 | April 2022
Neighborhood Health is partnering with three local resettlement organizations - Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service, Catholic Charities (Diocese of Arlington), and Ethiopian Community Development Council, Inc.- to facilitate the entry of newly arrived Afghan individuals and families into primary care. Many are in need of immediate medical care and a primary medical home. This funding would help support the Refugee Liaison Coordinator position. Executive Director Dr. Basim Khan says that Neighborhood Health have hired a Dari-speaking case manager to help reduce barriers and coordinate care in a complex health care system.
AsylumWorks | $9,500 | April 2022
This funding will help AsylumWorks to specifically to grow capacity in Northern Virginia, setting up a satellite office to be able to continue to build a community partners network in the region.
Annandale High School | $6,000 | $3,000 in January and $3,000 again in April 2022
This funding will assist High School aged students resettling from Afghanistan. In late March, a number of refugee students from Annandale High School took a field trip to the Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington.