Refugee Integration in Virginia is a project supported by Virginia Humanities designed to inspire through storytelling to capture refugees and community members’ experiences in building community together and showcase the two-way process of integration.
Nabil didn’t know what to expect when he first arrived in central Wisconsin. He and his wife Amina had just navigated through a flight transfer at Chicago O’Hare alone, with their two young daughters in tow. The family certainly didn’t expect to be greeted at the tiny Wisconsin airport by a group of volunteers as well as refugee resettlement staff.
Seyar worked in communications in Kabul, helping U.S. government troops, its allies, the Afghan government, and the general Afghan population with internet and phone services. Despite the danger to himself (as he could be targeted due to his collaboration with the U.S. government forces) he continued to do his job to the best of his ability until the Afghan government fell and a truck bomb hit the building he was working in and many of his coworkers lost their lives.
A congregation in Wausau, Wis., formed a co-sponsorship team and completed local co-sponsorship training in late January. Immediately after training, they were matched with a newly arriving Afghan family. Prior to the family’s arrival one problem the local staff faced preparing to receive the family was housing.
Nangeyali came out of the Holloman Air Force Base, in New Mexico, to Carlisle, Penn. approximately two months ago, and has achieved many successes so far. A few days after his arrival, ECDC’s local partner, the International Service Center (ISC), was able to secure an apartment for him in Carlisle.