Afghan Refugee Resettlement
October 27, 2021 ~ Information about our partnership with the International Service Center
Greetings! I had the opportunity to have a conversation with Dr. Phuong and Ms. Dyna today about the work the ISC is doing with Afghan Refugee Resettlement. While the ISC doesn’t have an official relationship with government efforts to resettle Afghan Refugees, they are working with one family of 10 who is arriving in Harrisburg on Thursday, October 28th. That family needs housing and other aid.
In response, the ISC is looking for house or apartment rentals for the family in the Harrisburg metropolitan area, including Enola, Camp Hill, Lemoyne, Wormleysburg, Mechanicsburg, Carlisle, etc. If you know of any possibilities, please contact Mrs. Dyna or Ms. Kenna at the following numbers: (717) 230-8741 or (717) 236-9401. Other specific needs and ways you can help are included in the documents listed below in the highlighted text shared with us by the ISC. You can:
Educate yourself: Attachment 1. AFR Project Summary includes more information from Dr. Phoung and the ISC staff about the whole process of refugee resettlement.
Donate Material Goods: Attachment 2. Refugee’s wish list and food list has information about the material needs the ISC has.
Offer Your Presence: Attachment 3. Volunteer Sign Up has information about how you can be present to the family helping with their transition to a new country and new culture by providing hospitality in different and meaningful ways.
The story of this family’s arrival in Harrisburg highlights the difficulty families face in coming to a new country. Dr. Phoung, Dyna, and the ISC staff have an existing relationship with an Afghan family which already lives here in Harrisburg. That family of 3 (mom, dad, and 6 month old baby) arrived a few months ago having fled Afghanistan. Many extended family members including the gentleman’s mother, father, siblings, nieces, and nephews were left behind in Afghanistan. With the withdrawal of US Troops and the recent chaotic mass evacuation, the family here sought to get the remaining family of 10 out of the country. They were able to do so with a last-minute trip back to Afghanistan to get the family on one of the last flights out of the country.
The family of 10 were taken to a camp in Wisconsin for the extended vetting process and to enter the government’s resettlement program. However, the family patriarch is suffering from declining physical health as well as mental and emotional trauma. All of the changes and stress but also the death of his wife from Covid some months before the family fled have taken their toll. Worried by their patriarch’s declining health and hearing rumors that the family would possibly be separated and sent to different states during the resettlement process, they arranged for the entire family to be united here in Harrisburg. This does mean the loss of services available to the family from the government and it makes this in part an emergency to which the ISC is responding. Tomorrow night, the family of three living here already in a two-bedroom apartment, will be joined by the family of 10. Thus, understandably, another living arrangement is needed and the request for help has been put out. Whatever help you can offer should go through the ISC according to the information on the attachments. Please also hold this family, the work of the ISC, and all the other resettlement work going on in our country in your prayer.
Kim Wadlington, Pastor
INTERNATIONAL SERVICE CENTER
The International Service Center (ISC), under the direction of Dr. Truong Ngoc Phuong, is housed at Market Square Presbyterian Church.
1. To promote, support and implement educational, cultural, social, and economic programs to serve the disadvantaged and underprivileged people, to enable them to become self supporting and productive members of our pluralistic society.
2.To foster the spirit of mutual understanding and mutual assistance among people of different cultural and language backgrounds.
To learn more about the ISC, click here.