Welcome Afghan Refugees
(New Resources Added 4/6/22)
SIGN UP at: https://bit.ly/DisciplesRefugeeInterest to indicate your or your church’s interest to assist (or share work you are already doing!) to welcome Afghan refugees. Disciples RIM will follow up to help link you with best resources in your area, and with other interested Disciples!
Questions? Contact Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, RIM Director, at: email@example.com, 202-957-7826 (text or call), or on Twitter: @StanleyRea, & Like Us on Facebook at: http://bit.ly/RIMFacebook
(Left: AP Photo/Jose Luis Magana)–Families evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, walk through the terminal before boarding a bus after they arrived at Washington Dulles International Airport, in Chantilly, Va., on Friday, 8/27/2021 and on Right: Image from Dar Al-Hijrah at late August Supplies Drop Off in Falls Church, VA.)
More than six months after the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban, we continue to mourn each loss endured by Afghan allies, as well as US soldiers who partnered with them. We are likewise grateful to continue offering opportunities for welcome and the building of new life with Afghans now among us!
As of February 19, 2022, all processing centers for Afghan arrivals at military bases across the country have now closed. Also, as of February 15th, 66,503 individuals had departed safe havens since the launch of Operation Allies Welcome. Over half of Afghan arrivals have been resettled in Texas, California, Virginia, Washington, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida and Arizona. Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, Illinois, Oklahoma, Missouri, Michigan, Georgia, North Carolina, Ohio, Minnesota, Nebraska and Kentucky have all resettled more than 1,000 Afghans each. Meanwhile, South Dakota, Mississippi, West Virginia and Hawaii have all resettled 22 Afghans combined, and Wyoming is the only state that is not expected to receive evacuees.
With Afghans in communities now across nearly all US states and in Canada, we continue to multiply our efforts as Disciples to Welcome Refugees. Your congregation is invited to join this movement of hope, as you:
- CONTACT RIM’s Director, Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, to speak, preach, or present a program about Refugee Resettlement with your congregation!: firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-957-7826.
- SIGN UP to Receive updates from Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries: http://bit.ly/RIMWRAP
- CONSIDER APPLYING FOR AN AFGHAN ASSISTANCE MINI-GRANT FROM WOC of $500-$2,000 to support your congregation’s outreach with Afghan refugees in your area!
- WATCH & SHARE THIS VIDEO on YouTube and THIS VIDEO on FaceBook from Rev. Terri Hord Owens, GMP, re: Afghan Welcoming, and WATCH THIS VIDEO from Week of Compassion about Your Compassion at Work Supporting Afghans.
- VIEW HERE OUR AFGHAN REFUGE & WELCOME WEBINAR with Week of Compassion & Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries What Vision Can Help Guide Our Work?Resettling refugees invites us to:
- recall Jesus’ life
- offer holy welcome
- encounter “angels unawares”
See Our Disciples SACRED Refugee Response Toolkit at: https://bit.ly/SACREDRefugeeResponse
What Else can Disciples DO as Congregations & as Regions to Help?
- EXPLORE HOW TO CONNECT through recent “RIM WRAP” Refugee & Immigration Alerts about Afghanistan HERE and HERE.
- SEE CWS LEARNING RESOURCES at this YouTube Link, Afghan Welcome page, and Learn More page. Here is the link to CWS Welcome Home Campaign – which allows community members to rally friends and family through social media to raise rental assistance and provide a safe landing place for our Afghan friends.
- TAKE ACTION to urge safe and ongoing pathways of escape for remaining US citizens, Afghan military allies and vulnerable communities still seeking routes to fleeing dangers under the Taliban. See resources here about how to support, protect, and advocate for our allies.
- SEARCH HERE for a map (see image below) of local affiliate offices of the nation’s nine approved refugee resettlement organizations nearest to your area, FIND HERE an updated list of all Afghan Placement Assistance office sites, and FIND HERE a state by state directory of resettlement offices.
- CELEBRATE DISCIPLES’ HERITAGE of welcoming refugees, by reviewing our GA 2019 Resolution GA-1035 “Concerning Steep Reductions of Refugees,” our GA 2017 Resolution GA-1723 “On Becoming Immigrant Welcoming Congregations,” and our ecumenical commitments to welcoming Afghan refugees expressed through our “Ecumenical Statement: Support of Afghans Seeking Refuge.”
- PRAY for U.S. veterans who worked with Afghans for years and are experiencing trauma since Afghanistan’s takeover and recent deaths at the airport last week. LEARN HERE about ways the US Military’s Volunteer “TEAM RUBICON” network continues to help Afghans resettling into different areas. Remember the Veterans Crisis Line at 1-800-273-8255. And PRAY especially for Afghan families who have endured multiple traumas and are seeking hope now to rebuild their lives. Download an Interfaith Prayer Toolkit here, see another Prayer for Afghanistan here, and invite your congregation and family to SING this hymn about the People of Afghanistan.
- LEARN INSIGHTS INTO AFGHAN CULTURE through this cultural Blog of Afghan Culture Unveiled & Peace Corps Community Webinar
- KNOW U.S. VETS WHO SERVED WITH AFGHAN ALLIES?: Let RIM’s Director know, as we’re gathering stories of U.S.-Afghan partners! Email: email@example.com.
- HELP FRIENDS & FAMILY STILL IN AFGHANISTAN: Afghan Evacuation, HRF: Resources, Evacuate Our Allies: Resources and these Evacuee Updates, USCRI: Resources for Afghan Allies, Afghan American Foundation: Afghanistan Emergency IDP Fundraising Organizations August 2021, GIWPS: How to Save the Lives of Afghan Women, Women’s Regional Network: Women Globally Working to Protect Afghan Women, CWS Afghan Resources, KAMA DC’s Detailed listing of Resources for Persons Living in Afghanistan, Vital Voice Emergency Fund: Contact Saba Ghori at firstname.lastname@example.org, Open Society Foundations: Open Society Announces a $10 Million Emergency Fund for Afghan Civilians in Peril, U.S. Department of State: Repatriation Assistance Request, IRAP also offers chatbots which offer information through Facebook Messenger and Telegram. To talk to the chatbot, add @irapchatbot on Telegram or message them on Facebook. Then, type “hello” as your first message. The chatbot will respond to you and ask questions about your situation.
- PLAN NOW TO VIRTUALLY ATTEND the “Together We Welcome” National Conference, March 4-6, 2022 sponsored by Church World Service and co-sponsored by Disciples of Christ, with refugee, asylum seeker, immigration, and climate migration learning tracks. Go to https://cwsglobal.org/take-action/together-we-welcome/ or REGISTER HERE. Cost is $25
- RAISE YOUR VOICE PUBLICLY FOR WELCOME to build awareness and support for your faith welcome for Afghan refugees and allies. Feel free to use/adapt RCUSA’s press statement from August 16th, this digital toolkit, this messaging guidance, this social media guide, or this rapid response toolkit for sample social media posts, graphics, talking points, and more.
- SEE THESE OFFICE OF REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT resources re: Afghan Resettlement.
- VOLUNTEER to help Disciples Refugee & Immigration Ministries mobilize Disciples around the country to respond. Remote options available! Email: email@example.com. RIM is compiling resources for each Region, to be available soon via googledoc & updated as new resources and events emerge. Stay tuned! AND ALWAYS…
LOCALLY HELP REFUGEES THROUGH YOUR NEAREST REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT ORGANIZATION!!
There are 9 state department approved refugee resettlement agencies in the U.S.; six of which are faith based. Disciples of Christ has a long-term partner relationship with Church World Service, which has 24 offices throughout the US!
RIM also works closely with all other resettlement agencies–and encourages Disciples to work with resettlement offices located nearest to them. For Afghan resettlement, the State Department allows for congregations to sponsor within–and now even BEYOND–100 miles of a resettlement office.
SEARCH this map to find local affiliate offices of the nation’s nine approved refugee resettlement organizations nearest to your area, FIND HERE an updated list of all Afghan Placement Assistance office sites, FIND HERE a state by state directory of resettlement offices, and SEE HERE a list of state refugee contact representatives for your state.