Lutheran family services resettle Afghan refugees

It has been a whirlwind for Afghan families moving to their new homes after the United States withdrew from the country’s capital Kabul a few months ago, and many of the volunteers helping them resettle are also rolling with the blows. Matthew Martin is the Vice President of Refugee and Immigration Programs at Lutheran Family Services. He said he and his staff typically find out weeks or months before new refugees land at Eppley Airfield. But he said volunteers are fighting to greet families from Afghanistan on time. “Right now, we get 48, 72 hours notice at all before they get to our community,” Martin said. About 750,000 people are finally reaching their destinations after the first airlift from Kabul, many are on their way to Omaha. Right now, these refugees in military base camps around the world are waiting to be resettled. Martin said the federal government set a deadline to move families to their new homes. U.S. officials call it the “sprint.” “Between now and February 15, we will have an average of about 30 people coming to Omaha through LFS each week,” Martin said. The state of Nebraska undertook to resettle 1,800 Afghan refugees by September next year. Lutheran family services said about 200 are already part of the metro community. Martin said there is a large Afghan population and other organizations ready to connect with these families. “It’s really just been a huge backing,” Martin said. “So we are expanding our staff, the volunteer base has been huge, we have had 500 people trained as volunteers to help us in various ways around the community to help the Afghans and the other refugees.”

It has been a whirlwind for Afghan families moving to their new homes after the United States withdrew from the country’s capital Kabul a few months ago, and many of the volunteers helping them resettle are also underway.

Matthew Martin is Assistant Vice President of Refugee and Immigration Programs at Lutheran Family Services. He said he and his staff typically find out weeks or months before new refugees land at Eppley Airfield. But he said volunteers are fighting to greet families from Afghanistan on time.

“Right now, we get 48, 72 hours notice at all before they get to our community,” Martin said.

About 750,000 people are finally reaching their destinations after the first airlift from Kabul, many are on their way to Omaha. Right now, these refugees in military base camps around the world are waiting to be resettled. Martin said the federal government set a deadline to move families to their new homes, and U.S. officials call it the “sprint.”

“Between now and February 15, we will have an average of about 30 people coming to Omaha through LFS each week,” Martin said.

The state of Nebraska has committed to resettling 1,800 Afghan refugees by September next year. Lutheran family services said about 200 are already part of the metro community. Martin said there is a large Afghan population and other organizations ready to connect with these families.

“It’s really just been a huge backing,” Martin said. “So we are expanding our staff, the volunteer base has been huge, we have had 500 people trained as volunteers to help us in various ways around the community to help the Afghans and the other refugees.”

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