Escaping from the Taliban’s control of Afghanistan, thousands of Afghan people have settled in the DC area, including Northern Virginia. Understanding that rebuilding lives in a new country is a tremendous undertaking, UUCF has teamed with the UU congregations of Sterling and Reston to sponsor families going through resettlement. The UU Afghan Resettlement Team (UU ARRT) is currently sponsoring one family and hopes to expand sponsorship as funds allow.
About the Family
The family currently sponsored by the UU ARRT left Afghanistan with only the clothes on their backs. The family ranges from retired grandparents to an elementary- age child. They are unable to return to their homeland for safety reasons. After three months at Ft. Lee, they were given very short notice to leave and were placed temporarily in an Airbnb. A lease for a home was signed in November 2021. The war, the fall of the government, and the scramble to flee for safety, which tragically left some family members behind, created significant trauma for the family. For safety reasons, pictures of and personal information about this family cannot be shared.
What Sponsorship Looks Like
UU ARRT works closely with the family. The team has furnished and supplied their new home and helped the family get settled and start learning all the things required to integrate into a new community and country. This included helping enroll a child in school, setting up phones and electronics, providing transportation and teaching English as a second language. The teams has also provided rental assistance, assisted the family with trying to find work, getting driver’s licenses and starting to work on the asylum process, etc.
All three sponsoring UU congregations have dug deep to fund this family’s resettlement, however, much more is needed to ensure the family’s long-term self-sufficiency. UU ARRT would also like to raise funds to potentially support other refugee families in the region. The group’s fundraising flyer is here. Donate to the UU Afghan Refugee Resettlement Fund here.
About UU ARRT’s Sponsorship Partner
UU ARRT has partnered with FAMIL to identify its sponsorship family and meet the family’s resettlement needs. FAMIL (which means family in all Afghani languages) was established by a small group of private American citizens in the DC Metro region, including former U.S. military and government employees with many years of experience in Afghanistan.
Join the Team
For more information or to join UU ARRT, please contact UUCF Social Justice Coordinator Andrew Batcher.