Supporting Afghan Refugees
Welcoming and Supporting Refugees in Delaware
Jewish Family Services of Delaware (JFS), the only refugee resettlement agency in the state of Delaware, is in close and consistent contact with state officials and national partners at HIAS regarding our state’s response to the crisis in Afghanistan. While no Afghan cases have been assigned to JFS Delaware’s Refugee Integration Support Effort (RISE) yet, the agency is scaling up significantly as we prepare to accept SIV (Special Immigrant Visa) and other refugee cases should they be called on to do so. Support from individuals, state and county representatives, faith-based organizations, local congregations, community volunteers, and other partners (landlords, employers, etc.) is crucial to ensuring the successful integration of these families seeking refuge in our state. We are all working closely together in anticipation of new arrivals.
Wednesday, November 10
JFS Delaware is now assigned and expecting at least 30 Afghan individuals to arrive before the end of this year—25 of them are already here and getting settled into their new homes—and it is very likely even more will be assigned to our state in the new year or sooner. These individuals and families will need a lot of support and help to rebuild their lives in Delaware, integrate into our community, and achieve self-sufficiency. Right now, the best way to help them and JFS is by making a donation, which you can designate to RISE (our Refugee Integration Support Effort); these funds go directly towards meeting refugees’ basic needs—food, clothing, housing, translation services, transportation, education, and more—as well as supporting our RISE team while they coordinate all of these critical efforts. Thank you in advance for your support!
Friday, October 15
JFS Delaware is currently assigned 4 Afghan families (a total of 6 adults and 7 children) and we are eagerly anticipating their arrival before the end of this year. The Afghan family we previously announced below and were expecting this month (single mother with 3 sons) was reassigned to another resettlement agency due to them having personal family ties closer to that city; it is critical for refugees to have a support system while they orient to their new community and we wish them the best on their continued journey. Please keep in mind the quickly-changing and short-notice nature of this work—sometimes travel and arrival dates change, sometimes we are notified of cases that are ultimately reassigned to other resettlement agencies, sometimes we are given less than 48-hours’ notice before a family’s arrival—and know that we appreciate everyone’s flexibility, support, and generosity to prepare warm welcomes for every refugee coming to Delaware.
Monday, September 20
We are very pleased to share that JFS has been assigned our first Afghan case, which includes a single mother and her three sons (ages 16, 13, & 8). They speak Dari, with little to no English. We are immeasurably grateful for the interfaith collaboration of Congregation Beth Shalom, Westminster Presbyterian Church, Tarbiyah School, and the Islamic Society of Delaware for wrapping their arms around this family when they arrive (date TBD)—all of their needs, including housing, food, clothing, healthcare connections, and other supports will be provided in full until they are settled, well-oriented, and self-sufficient.
Friday, September 3
JFS’ RISE team and staff are scaling up and preparing to provide support for 10 Afghan families or up to 30 people between now and early 2022. These numbers are in addition to the 50 refugees JFS was already planning to receive throughout the year from locations around the world (In August, JFS welcomed a Rwandan family of 3; this month, we are anticipating a family of 5 from Jordan.)
Ways you can help:
- Make a donation to JFS Delaware HERE
(there is a field in which you can designate your gift to RISE)
- Volunteer with JFS.
Learn more HERE or contact JFS’ Volunteer Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Share your contacts with JFS. Partnerships with landlords, employers, and other professionals open to supporting refugees are consistently needed and always appreciated.
Leads can be sent to the Director of Family Support Services at email@example.com.
- Follow JFS Delaware on social media and help advocate for their refugee resettlement efforts through your personal networks. Social media channels are where JFS announces incoming cases, the list of needs to prepare for new arrivals, and advocacy activities.
Our History: Welcoming the Stranger
JFS Delaware, an over 120-year-old organization, has a long history of welcoming and assisting newcomers to America. In the 1980’s JFS was instrumental in resettling hundreds of families in Delaware from the former Soviet Union and, since 1997, have been providing émigré services for refugees who have already arrived in the state. In 2016, the organization relaunched active resettlement efforts through their Refugee Integration Support Effort (RISE). In 2017, JFS welcomed an SIV from Afghanistan and his family – view their story HERE. Learn more about RISE at www.jfsdelaware.org/refugees
Read more from HIAS:
(JFS Delaware is an affiliate of HIAS, on of the nine national resettlement agencies.)
- Crisis in Afghanistan: How you can help
- HIAS Set to Assist Afghan Evacuees
- Afghans Need to Be Classified as Refugees
- Visit HIAS’ Blog for more updates and information