A picnic-sharing was organized on Sunday afternoon by the organization Hearts and Homes for Refugees to welcome the first family of Afghan refugees arriving in Westchester after the Taliban takeover.
Native New Yorkers and Afghan refugees who fled the country a few years ago were there to help.
The Ahmadi family resides in White Plains. They say Hearts and Homes for Refugees helped them settle in. Reshad Ahmadi says they received support from the community upon their arrival, including learning English and finding employment.
âWe wanted to pay back our share,â Ahmadi says.
Founder Kathie O’Callaghan said the nonprofit, which helped refugees in 2016 during the Syria crisis, is ready to help with medical appointments, get their hands on schools and more Again.
âWe find housing, we clean the houses, we furnish the houses,â says O’Callaghan. âWe help them with food. “
Zulfar Ahmadi says it was stressful, “but with their help, with their support, we made it happen.”
O’Callaghan knows more Afghan refugees will arrive soon.
“It was the Afghans who fought alongside our troops, who were the interpreters, the drivers, the engineers,” says O’Callaghan. âThe ones we have promised refuge because of their work with us, because they have targets on their backs. ”
The association hopes to give refugee families all the tools they need to contribute to American society.
âWe want them to be self-sufficient, independent and a part of this country,â says O’Callaghan. “Not to lose who they are in the process, but to enrich who we are.”