Cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet 5783 November/December 2022
In concert with New Neighbors Interfaith Alliance (NNIA), Kol Shalom is now helping resettle 12 Afghan refugee families. Three of our families are now in Gaithersburg, more are in Rockville and others are in Silver Spring and Riverdale in Prince George’s County.
Until they land on their feet, we are helping with rent payments, asylum applications, English language instruction, food deliveries, donations of Target gift cards and adult and children’s clothing in good condition, transportation assistance, mentoring and advice.
Since the end of February when we began our NNIA association, several in the Afghan community have obtained entry level jobs as a first step toward self-sufficiency. Their children are enrolled in public schools where their boys and girls are relishing the opportunity to learn without restrictions present in Afghanistan.
We are so proud of Bushra Seddique, one of our new neighbors who is a journalist. She has had two articles published in the Atlantic: My Escape from the Taliban, and What Afghans Want the Rest of the Word to Know. Check them out at TheAtlantic.com.
Providing critical support to our new neighbors requires a lot of volunteers. Our biggest need right now is in helping family members find jobs. If you know of anyone looking to fill a position, know that these families all have work authorization papers. Some speak English quite well, and some not so well. There are painters, doctors, lawyers, teachers, journalists, but they will take any position just to be able to take care of their families.
We need people who can set up job searches that are appropriate for them, scan through the results for locations that are accessible by public transportation, and help them fill out the forms to apply for jobs. Or, if you have experience doing interviews, perhaps you could do a mock interview. Or maybe you could volunteer to drive them to an interview.
No experience is necessary – other volunteers will help you. Need more information? Please email us at NNIAMaryland@gmail.com. Someone from NNIA will get back to you to discuss your interest.
Financial contributions help the families pay for their rent and other necessities until they are financially independent. Donations can be made to NNIA Refugee Fund here.