The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

The Student News Site of Alexandria City High School

Theogony

Community Organization Resettle Afghan Refugees

Community+Organization+Resettle+Afghan+Refugees

Zahra Rahimi

Staff writer

NOVA RAFT (Northern Virginia Resettling Afghan Families Together) is an organization that started in August 202, when the Taliban took over Afghanistan. This organization consists of former Afghan diplomats and military personnel, as well as local businesses and a network of mosques, synagogues, and churches that are dedicated to assisting newly arrived Afghan families. 

Daniel Altman, the organizer of Nova Raft, said, ”During the evacuation of Kabul, everyone was so upset and worried about our Afghan friends. We wanted to do something to help. Knowing they would be arriving within a few months, we decided to begin collecting furniture and other items they would need for their homes.”  Nova Raft collected all of the necessary items to set up homes for 300 Afghan families. This amounted to well over $1 million worth of donations.

They have hundreds of volunteers and committed groups from many religious institutions to help Afghan families with a variety of additional necessities, such as housing, school registration, medical crises, and training for a driver’s license. NOVA RAFT has helped to bring together Afghan refugees in the community through ESL classes, community events, workshops, and youth activities. “It is a huge network of people who care deeply about our newly arrived Afghan friends,” said Altman. 

They reach out to the community through social media, and they work directly with the refugee resettlement agencies including Lutheran Social Services and Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Services.

RAFT has over 3,700 members on social media who help with donations and spreading awareness. [We use] social media, word of mouth, and even walking door to door to introduce ourselves. We met many families as we helped set up their homes when they first moved in,” said Altman. 

Zainab Alizada’s family is one of the families that RAFT has helped. They are a family of seven and have been in the United States for four months. Raft has helped them with school registration, moving into their first home, and introduced them to other Afghan families. Alizada said in Dari,

“زندگی کردن در امریکا سخت است دور از فامیل ها و اقارب. ولی احساس خوبی میکنم وقتی مردم اینجه   مثل اقای آلتمن همراه ما کمک میکند. احساس  خیلی خوبی است.”

“It is hard to live in America, far from families and relatives. But I feel good when people from here like Mr. Altman help us. It is a very good feeling.”


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Community Organization Resettle Afghan Refugees