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.

2 responses to “Afghan Refugees: A Local Update

  1. Big Hearts of Westport – thank you! Since Sept and Kabul Airlift, our generous community donated thousands of needed items for new families from Afghanistan…some with notes of Love. Some with notes from our kids. Saturday – full trucks will head up to IRIS New Haven – and just in time as new families arrive at JFK, bound for Connecticut. See Dan’s Links above, and donate if you can, or join our community co-sponsorship group. There are upcoming info sessions at The Library, Senior Center & Rotary Clubs. Its the most refugees CT has ever resettled and welcomed since 1982….

  2. Ellen Lautenberg

    Thanks Dan for reminding us about what’s important and thank you Robin for your work!

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