(RNS) — Three dilapidated presidents and first women beget joined with non secular leaders, faith-based entirely mostly refugee resettlement agencies and others to toughen a new nationwide group with the plot of constructing it more uncomplicated to lend a hand Afghan evacuees arriving within the US.
Welcome.US launched Tuesday (Sept. 14) to provide a single point of entry for Americans to donate to frontline organizations, host arriving households by Airbnb and win diversified ways to lend a hand Afghans as they rebuild their lives within the U.S. after fleeing the Taliban.
“We know that doing the work of constructing our new neighbors welcome is the open line for the assorted ways in which their presence will enrich us all,” Cecilia Muñoz, co-chair of Welcome.US, acknowledged for the length of a digital facts convention Tuesday morning.
“Right here’s what we procure after we’re at our simplest, and we’re proud to beget developed an plot to lend a hand Americans procure this work together.”
Muñoz, who used to be director of the White Home Home Policy Council under dilapidated President Barack Obama, is chairing the group alongside John Bridgeland, who directed the council under dilapidated President George W. Bush.
Obama, Bush and dilapidated President Bill Clinton — alongside with dilapidated first women Michelle Obama and Laura Bush and dilapidated first girl and dilapidated Secretary of Speak Hillary Clinton — are also serving as honorary co-chairs “to desire up all americans else enthusiastic and remind us that here is our opportunity, in a time of all too mighty division, for total cause,” per the Welcome.US web utter.
Other folks evacuated from Kabul, Afghanistan, wait to board a bus after they arrived at Washington Dulles Global Airport, in Chantilly, Virginia, on Aug. 25, 2021. (AP Listing/Jose Luis Magana)
They’re joined by leaders from quite a bit of faith-based entirely mostly refugee resettlement teams, which fabricate the backbone of the U.S. refugee resettlement program. These teams beget been working independently to meet the wants of Afghans arriving with Special Immigrant Visas or on humanitarian parole since the U.S. withdrew troops from Afghanistan final month.
Amongst these leaders are Bill Canny, head of the U.S. Convention of Catholic Bishops Migration and Refugee Companies and products office; Erol Kekic, senior vp at Church World Provider; Chris Palusky, president and CEO of Bethany Christian Companies and products; Krish O’Mara Vignarajah, president and CEO of Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Provider; and Jenny Yang, senior vp of advocacy and protection at World Relief.
Since 2009, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Provider has supported about 10,000 Afghans by the SIV program with housing, employment support, scientific improve, cultural orientation and diversified resettlement providers, Vignarajah acknowledged for the length of the digital facts convention. The community has considered a “gigantic outpouring of improve” in recent weeks, she acknowledged, with bigger than 45,000 other folk signing up to volunteer.
Americans are purchasing for ways to lend a hand, she added.
“Americans across the country and across the political spectrum … are desirous to welcome Afghan allies and refugees as their most up to date neighbors. So many other folk, communities and congregations beget a deeply personal connection to this historical effort, and they’re opening their properties, actually and figuratively, once all over again for Afghans in need,” Vignarajah acknowledged.
Bilal Askaryar. Listing by potential of Welcome.US
Bilal Askaryar, an Afghan American activist who beforehand labored for Church World Provider, shared his household’s myth of coming to the U.S. as asylum-seekers within the 1990s after Soviet forces withdrew from Afghanistan. He remembers the first-grade trainer who made him in actual fact feel welcome and helped him learn English.
Askaryar sees a alternative of parallels between his experiences and the stories of Afghans now coming to the U.S., he acknowledged.
“Nevertheless there’s one necessary incompatibility between after I was a toddler and at present: I’m heartened to peek the Welcome.US marketing campaign carry together … a entire of government plot, volunteer agencies, corporations and refugee agencies — so many tidy other folk which beget advance at the side of a total plot of welcoming our new Afghan neighbors with dignity and compassion,” he acknowledged.
Welcome.US also lists a diverse community of non secular leaders as part of its Welcome Council.
Amongst them are Bishop Michael Curry, head of the Episcopal Church; outstanding Contemporary Age author and alternative treatment guru Deepak Chopra; the Rev. Cynthia Hale of Ray of Hope Christian Church in Georgia; Walter Kim, head of the National Affiliation of Evangelicals; Rabbi Sharon Kleinbaum of Congregation Beit Simchat Torah in Contemporary York Metropolis; Imam Mohamed Magid of the All Dulles Establish Muslim Society (ADAMS) Heart in Virginia, dilapidated head of the Islamic Society of North The United States; Rabbi Jack Moline, head of the Interfaith Alliance; the Rev. Gabe Salguero, head of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition; Rabbi David Saperstein, dilapidated U.S. ambassador-at-gigantic for global non secular freedom; and Cardinal Joseph Tobin, archbishop of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark, Contemporary Jersey.