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Mobilizing Support for Afghan Refugees

This April, Patchwork Indy started a partnership with the Afghan American Community Center (AACC) to mobilize sponsor groups and provide application support to private sponsor groups seeking to sponsor Afghans through the Welcome Corps program.


CONTENTS

  • Why are Afghans abroad seeking refuge?

  • What is the Welcome Corps Program? How can it help Afghan refugees?

  • Patchwork Indy and AACC mobilize to help Afghan allies.

  • Join our welcoming movement!



Why are Afghans abroad seeking refuge?


Afghans have been seeking refuge in the United States for decades, driven by a combination of prolonged conflict, political instability, and economic difficulties in their home country. This migration trend has deep historical roots and complex causes, contributing to the continued displacement of Afghan citizens.


The roots of political instability and lack of security in Afghanistan stretches to back to the 1970s during the Cold War. Most recently, the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO troops in August 2021, allowed the Taliban regime to gain control over the country after decades of conflict between the Afghan government and U.S. allies. The sudden change prompted a new and sudden refugee crisis, as thousands of Afghans who had worked with or for the U.S. government and the previous Afghan government, as well as those at risk of persecution under Taliban regime (such as activists, journalists, and individuals from ethnic minority groups), sought to escape imminent threats to their safety and freedom.


These Afghan refugees have fled to neighboring countries, such as Pakistan, but are marginalized by the countries and societies they have fled to. Often, these families have too little to eat and without any local work permits.


Given the history, the U.S. has become a key destination for Afghan refugees. Many Afghans view the U.S. as one of the few places where they can find security, freedom, and opportunities for a better life, which are currently not possible under the Taliban's control.


What is the Welcome Corps Program? And how can it help Afghan refugees?


The Welcome Corps program is an innovative initiative by the U.S. government to transform refugee resettlement by actively involving American citizens.


Launched in early 2023, the Welcome Corps invites citizens to participate directly in refugee resettlement by forming private sponsor groups. These groups, composed of at least five people, undertake the responsibility of supporting newly arrived refugees and helping them integrate into American society.


The Welcome Corps is the boldest innovation in refugee resettlement in four decades.

- U.S. Department of State Press Statement, January 19, 2023


This approach to refugee resettlement not only empowers local communities but also fosters a deeper understanding and connection between Americans and the refugees they help. By participating in the Welcome Corps, sponsors not only provide practical assistance to refugees, but they also become their advocates, their voice in a new land. They help find housing, secure employment, arrange transportation, navigate health care and schooling, and teach important aspects of American culture and daily life.


For Afghan refugees, whose displacement comes with unique challenges and traumas, the Welcome Corps offers a pathway to rebuild their lives with dignity and community support. The trauma of displacement and resettlement is profound, and having a dedicated group to assist with the transition can make a significant difference in the lives of these individuals and families. These sponsor groups act not just as guides but as friends and advocates, creating a supportive environment that can significantly alleviate the stresses of acclimatizing to a new country.



Engagement through the Welcome Corps does not require previous experience with refugee resettlement. Private Sponsorship Organizations, such as our organization, Patchwork Indy, provide training and resources to ensure sponsors are well-prepared to meet the needs of the refugees they support. This makes the program accessible to a wide range of Americans who are eager to contribute to this humanitarian effort.


The Welcome Corps represents a shift towards a more community-centered approach to handling refugee crises. It embodies a spirit of hospitality and solidarity that can profoundly impact the lives of refugees and enrich American communities.

Patchwork Indy and AACC mobilize to help Afghan allies.

Through our shared networks, Patchwork Indy and the Afghan American Community Center (AACC) has met with leaders in the Muslim, veteran, and Afghan communities to mobilize citizens and residents to form private sponsor groups. On April 28, Patchwork and AACC hosted a joint Welcome Corps information session at the Muslim Community Center in Indianapolis to an audience of veterans, veteran families, Afghans, and other community members from Indianapolis and Muncie.


We look forward to further strengthening bonds with local Muslim, Afghan, veteran groups, and all Hoosiers willing to help us in this innovative and important humanitarian effort.


Join Our Welcoming Movement!


If you're interested in participating or learning more about how you can support Afghan refugees through this program, detailed information about the specific ways in which sponsor groups can assist and the steps to become a sponsor, contact us!:





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