Neighborhood to help resettle Afghan evacuees – Beacon Hill Times

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Special at the time

The first evacuees from Afghanistan – the people and families on the tarmac at Kabul airport just weeks ago – began arriving in the Boston area last week. The residents of Beacon Hill have been eager to volunteer and support these newcomers, but it was not clear how to get started.

Just in time, on Sunday, October 24 at 5 p.m., the New England International Institute (IINE) will be leading a program that will explain the Afghan evacuee relocation process and how the neighbors of Beacon Hill can help. The program will take place in the open-air courtyard of the Advent Church on Brimmer Street.

An Afghan mother and child recently arrived at Logan Airport. The New England International Institute helps them and the rest of their families settle down.

“I feel like this is a special chance to make a difference in the lives of people, many of whom have risked their lives to help our soldiers,” said Suzanne Besser of Mt. Vernon Street. “I am delighted to do something concrete that will now help them. “

During the Advent program, IINE CEO Jeff Thielman will provide an overview and answer questions, including about the biometric and security check all evacuees go through. Participants can explore and sign up for specific volunteer opportunities that range from meeting families arriving at Logan Airport, setting up new apartments and delivering homemade meals to soliciting in-kind contributions. , tutoring English learners and many more. There is a wide range of time, length and skill commitments. In addition, in-kind contributions of household items, furniture, grocery gift cards and warm clothing for all ages will be given priority. Everyone has something to contribute.

IINE has pledged to resettle 425 Afghans evacuated from the crisis, and the number is likely to increase. (“Refugees” and “evacuees” are roughly synonymous; new arrivals from Afghanistan, however, are technically “evacuees,” as they fled under conditions of emergency and crisis.)

IINE is one of the oldest and largest refugee resettlement organizations. The organization has deep expertise in the many challenges refugees face. Over a century, it has successfully welcomed and equipped thousands of new arrivals – including 350 Afghan refugees since 2014 – providing them with language courses, vocational training, housing, legal, educational and other assistance during the refugees’ transition to a very different American environment.

Financial donations to IINE are essential. The high cost of housing in our region along with insufficient reimbursements from the government mean that the IINE must raise additional private funds for each resettled evacuee. The contributions will provide direct financial assistance to evacuated Afghans and hire new case management staff. Online donations can be easily made at www.iine.org/donate.

“We look forward to a big turnout this Sunday,” said Shari Loessberg, resident of Mt. Vernon Street, a long-time member of the IINE board. “A big thank you to Advent for opening their doors to us for this gathering. For all of these families starting a new life in our city, I hope we can each do a little bit to make them feel welcome and help them succeed in their new American lives.

The information session will take place this Sunday, October 24 at 5:00 p.m. in the courtyard of the Advent Church, 30, rue Brimmer. The rain site is Moseley Hall in the church.


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