There is an URGENT NEED to help our Afghan Allies restart their lives in the U.S. Taking part in the Sponsor Circle project is a big way you can become directly involved with helping a family to transition into their new community. With at least 5 individuals, you can apply as a group to help resettle Afghan refugees and get support from organizations who have done this work. Many of you are already helping your new neighbors on your own. Thank you! By participating this a State Department facilitated initiative, you will gain access to additional resources, support, and advice from the Sponsor Circle network.
Our friends at Viets4Afghans share this experience:
As representatives of one of the first certified Sponsor Circles in the US, we write to personally thank you for your interest in forming a Sponsor Circle and welcoming an Afghan newcomer into your community. We felt helpless watching the situation in Afghanistan unfold. The opportunity to directly welcome Afghans through the Sponsor Circle Program made us feel like we are part of a solution. The experience changed our lives and the lives of the family that we are supporting.
Thousands of Afghan newcomers remain at U.S. military bases where they are being temporarily housed and many have been waiting for several months for communities to prepare for their arrival. There is an urgent need for Sponsor Circles to support the move of Afghan newcomers off bases and into welcoming communities in the coming weeks. You can play a critical role.
Join us by completing your Sponsor Circle application today. If you have questions about the application process, you can respond to this email or participate in an upcoming application support session. The Community Sponsorship Hub and Sponsor Circle Program Coalition are eager to support you. They will answer your questions, provide you with a coach, and connect you to resources, including free temporary housing made available through airbnb.org. (You’ll receive guidance on how to access this once your Sponsor Circle has been approved!)
The bonds our Sponsor Circle has formed with the family we are supporting will last a lifetime. Seeing them restart their lives as members of our community has changed what community means to us. You can learn more about our experience by watching this piece that recently aired on The Today Show. Join us!
Yours in welcoming,
P.S. If you have already completed your application, thank you! We hope that you will share your experience with your friends and family and encourage them to apply as well.
It is often our individual talents and passions that lead us to story projects. That was the case when a local organization Nova RAFT (Resettle Afghan Families Together) told us about a group of Afghan youth who were using art to express their experiences from evacuation to resettlement. That germinated an idea of hosting an Art Workshop with TSOS DC-Community Liaison, Annie Gedicks, who teaches art at Nova Community College.
The Emerald Project is a Utah-based organization that carefully designs dialogues to engage with non-Muslims to make Salt Lake Valley a more welcoming home to Muslims. As many of our refugee friends belong to the Muslim faith, we applaud opportunities that foster understanding and were pleased to support The Emerald Project’s 3rd annual “Slam the Islamophobia” event on February 15th.
Refugees often risk their lives crossing deserts, jungles, and oceans all in the search for shelter, freedom, or happiness. Yet, even once they’ve reached physical safety, mental mountains emerge that make daily life an uphill climb. At the November 2022 conference for the Utah Chapter of the Society for Public Health Education (USOPHE), presenters Shurooq Al Jewari and Sasha Sloan discussed mental health and inclusion, focusing on immigrants and refugees.