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The TBE Blog

We are delighted to report that the two young families from Afghanistan are doing well. They are working on improving their English, connecting with appropriate services and with others from Afghanistan, and they are busy with little children, one of whom is in preschool.

Assisting a family requires, as we have noted, a village. Debbie Gotbetter is orchestrating the volunteer “village” required. She communicates with the families about what to expect and what we do, assuring them that they can make their own decisions, and we are there to help them know what is available and to navigate a new environment. This is a partial list of what she and the volunteer team accomplish:

Ensuring each family has a minimum of four core volunteers to assist with specific spheres such as education, work, health, technology, research; managing calendar and multiple tasks such as transportation to government, dental appointments and the mosque, shopping, setting up home with furniture and home goods, stocking refrigerator and pantry on short notice, and arranging appropriate technology (phones, internet, TV), planning for education and employment; working with landlord about concerns; communicating with JFSMW case managers and interpreters. Debbie works with eight core volunteers and a number of volunteers who help regularly or occasionally.  We always welcome additional volunteers.

At the time of this writing (early April), we do not have specific information about the arrival of Ukrainian refugees.  Ed Shapiro, working closely with many agencies including UNHCR and who has traveled to Moldova and other locations, reports Ukrainians could arrive one of two ways: through the Lautenberg Amendment (eligibility based on religion and close family ties) or a version of the Humanitarian Parole (similar to Afghan refugees). It is likely that most could be a household of a mother and children. Our team is preparing for a possible future sponsorship of a family.

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