LINCOLN, Neb. (COLN) – Catholic social services help Afghan refugees resettle in Lincoln. So far, they have resettled 75 refugees, including three Afghan men, all of whom made a difficult choice to leave their families.
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“It was hard, so then my father decided. He said to me, ‘You can go. You’re unsure. You are more important to us. You should go to be safe, ‘”said Irfan, a 23-year-old refugee.” It’s really hard for us to live without family, “Irfan explained.
They came to Lincoln and left their country after the Taliban took power in August.
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Everyone was allowed to come to the United States based on their different roles in helping the U.S. government. Irfan worked as an interpreter in the presidential palace in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. He helps other refugees understand the English language through translation.
Another refugee, Mohibullah Hamit, was an engineer in the military and hopes to continue his engineering work here in the United States.
The third refugee, Ezatgul Arab, did not go to school in Afghanistan due to the war and is taking classes with Lincoln Literacy after resettlement.
CSS said so many refugees are struggling to relocate without their families.
“Once they get here, every single question I get from every single refugee who arrives is, ‘When can I bring my family here,'” said Pimpicha Tubsuwan, director of Refugee Resettlement at CSS.
Tubsuwan said it is easier to settle single refugees without families.
“The downside is that they have to leave their family members who are still back in Afghanistan. We do not know if they are a safe place or not,” Tubsuwan said.
However, they are grateful for the extended family they got in Lincoln, including their caseworkers at CSS, like Tubsuwan. She helped them find housing, get health insurance and a work permit.
“She does a lot for us,” Irfan said, “I’m really grateful to her.”
While resettling, they continue to worry about the safety of their families back home.
“Physically we are here, but mentally we are in Afghanistan,” Hamit said.
CSS still helps refugees and needs donations such as household items and furniture. They also need clothes, especially winter coats. They have a register of things that can be bought for refugees. Visit their website for more information on how to donate.
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