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Afghan Refugees: A Local Update

Last month, as Afghan refugees prepared to arrive in Connecticut, the call went out: Help!

Westporters responded.

An “06880” post alerted readers to the need for clothing, household goods, backpacks with school supplies and more. Load after load was delivered to Greens Farms Congregational Church.

Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services also received a $10,000 gift.

Here’s how it helps.

Over the past few days, IRIS welcomed 40 Afghan evacuees. Forty-six more will arrive this week. That’s 96 people — 24 or families — in 17 days.

All came with just 48 hours’ notice to iRIS.

They join 42 Afghans who came in August. Another 100 are scheduled to be here next month — and 100 more in December.

An Afghan father and daughter, resettled in Connecticut.

A few arrivals spent a couple of nights in hotels. One stayed with a church. Some are living with Afghan families they knew back home, while IRIS tries to find apartments.

Many went directly into housing that IRIS signed leases for in August.

But 43 people — mostly mothers with children — remain hiding in Afghanistan. IRIS is organizing money drops to keep them fed.

Twenty-seven community groups around Connecticut are welcoming refugees. But 50 to 60 more groups are needed (including the rest of New England). For information on sponsorships, click here.

To learn more, watch the video below:

IRIS notes that paperwork to get Afghan families employed takes a long time. The organization feeds them, and pays rent, until work papers are finalized. IRIS needs funds to help — and to pay their own staff. 

To donate, and for more information, click here.

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