Here’s how you can help incoming Afghan refugees
The Saint-Louis International Institute gathered the needs that Afghan refugees will have when settling in St. Louis.
1) Donate to frontline organizations here in St. Louis.
Institut international de Saint-Louis – serving populations around the world in the Saint-Louis region since 1919. As the only refugee resettlement agency in the Saint-Louis region, IISTL serves an average of 7,500 people per year. With dramatic cuts to the refugee resettlement program in recent years, IISTL is working on capacity building to serve those who come to St. Louis and need it most. You can help by sharing current job postings. Can’t make a donation? Host a fundraiser for some of our most needed items. Or organize a fundraising event or donation campaign.
Oasis International Ministries (314-535-3800) & Baitulman Merchandise House (314-833-3300) both play a vital role in providing goods and services to newly arrived refugees. In addition to monetary donations, they accept and distribute furniture and household items donated to refugees to start their new lives here in St. Louis. The IITL regularly uses the assistance of both organizations.
2) Donate to organizations working in Afghanistan and surrounding areas to help.
International Rescue Committee (IRC) – field assistance in refugee camps as well as helping individuals and families to resettle in the United States
Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS) – active in resettling refugees across the United States Currently, LIRS runs its “Afghan Allies” program providing assistance to those currently in Afghanistan.
United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) – providing on the ground support to displaced and needy people in Afghanistan.
American Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) – currently provides resources and information to people in Afghanistan and around the world on SIV applications and beyond.
3) Donate to specialized service organizations here in St. Louis. We are so lucky to live in such a diverse city where there are many foreign born community support organizations. It is not just about newly arrived refugees. These organizations serve all of the immigrant populations in our region.
Casa de Salud
Welcome neighbor STL
Bilingual international assistant services (BIAS)
Home English Language Learning Program for Immigrants (I HELP)
4) Be prepared to volunteer your time and energy.
We know that at IISTL we are predicting 1,000 refugee cases this year. We don’t know when they will come – sometimes we get as short as 24-48 hours notice of arrival. The IITL, as well as the aforementioned organizations, will need your help. The best thing you can do right now is get ready – fill out interest forms and requests, stay engaged and informed. We are sure that other organizations will form and become more involved. New needs will arise. Be patient and flexible with the ever-changing landscape of refugee resettlement.
5) Advocate at all levels.
Pick up the phone. Call your representatives (local, state, federal) and let them know that you want them to act now and continuously on the issue of Afghan resettlement. Policymakers as well as public discourse shapers need to understand that there is a broad bipartisan consensus for Afghan resettlement and that, whatever opinions about military engagement, the United States should not abandon its allies for the sake of resettlement. to be persecuted.
While the timelines are currently unknown, what we do know is that your help will be needed. Get involved today and stay involved. It’s a tragedy that we watch unfold in real time. Unfortunately, we see these kinds of situations happening more and more on the world stage. We can help. Let them come. Let us welcome our new neighbors with open arms.
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