Memphis, TN

A local non-profit is assisting Afghanistan refugees start new lives in Memphis: here's how you can help too

Uncharted Traveling

It's hard to ignore the scenes coming out of Afghanistan. Families fleeing their homes to find safety and protection, leaving with only what they can carry and the clothes on their back. The massive effort it is taking to evacuate so many people is staggering. They are being transported to U.S. military bases all across Europe as temporary safe-havens. But what happens next?

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Afghani refugees arrive on a U.S. military base in ItalyPhoto courtesy of the official U.S. Navy Facebook page

Many of the Afghani refugees being evacuated worked for the United States Government in some capacity, were employed by American-owned companies, or operated shops and stores on U.S. military bases in Afghanistan. They have worked side by side with our service members, contractors, and civilian employees for the past twenty years, and now they need our help. You might wonder what you can do to assist the efforts in helping these people. Evacuating the families is just the first step. After the evacuation begins the hard work of relocation. Finding families places to live, helping them learn how to adjust to life in their new homes, and connecting them with ways to make a living once they get there. This local non-profit agency, and others like it, is assisting in the efforts to make sure Afghani, and other refugees, make healthy and happy transitions to their new homes.

World Relief Memphis

World Relief is a global Christian humanitarian organization that brings sustainable solutions to the world’s greatest problems – disasters, extreme poverty, violence, oppression, and mass displacement. We partner with local churches and community leaders in the U.S. and abroad to bring hope, healing and transformation to the most vulnerable." https://worldrelief.org/memphis/

The Memphis branch of the World Relief organization is advocating for the relocation of more Afghani families to the Memphis area. Families would be eligible based on qualifying for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV). Afghans who qualify are those who have provided military or diplomatic missions with services such as translation, but there is so much involved in the process that it ends up leaving thousands of people in vulnerable situations facing endless red tape and systematic barriers.

Some of the services that the World Relief organization provides to families include:

  • Providing basic necessities to newly arrived refugees, such as English classes, immigration legal aid, and employment services.
  • Partnering with local churches and community members to help educate, advocate and take action on behalf of our immigrant neighbors, as well as build long-term relationships.
  • Working to change systems and resulting injustices that marginalize refugees and other immigrants.

All of these services are meant to provide support for families as they rebuild their lives, to help them build community ties, and feel accepted in their new homes. If you're looking for a way to help those less fortunate than you, World Relief Memphis has a way for you to plug in. You can make a difference in the life of someone else simply by volunteering, becoming an advocate, or donating to the organization. To read more about the work and mission of World Relief Memphis and how you can get involved, see their official website.

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