This month marks one year since the fall of Afghanistan. Twelve months ago, thousands of Afghans were thrust into an impossible situation, rushing to evacuate their country in a moment of complete chaos. Many had to leave family and friends behind to relocate to safety in the United States. They initially lived in tents on military bases, then spent months in temporary housing before finally settling in permanent homes. They arrived during a pandemic and sought services from resettlement agencies like New AP that were initially understaffed and under resourced for the task. These families are now working hard to build a new life in a new country while worrying about family still in Afghanistan. Their resilience has been extraordinary, and I admire their perseverance in the face of such extreme adversity.
When the first wave of Afghans arrived in the United States in the fall of 2021, our organization was inundated with requests for assistance. Our incredible team rose to the occasion, putting in countless hours of work to ensure we could provide assistance to those who needed it. In the aftermath of the evacuation of Afghanistan, New AP welcomed more people in a few months than we have in the last two years combined. We had to build a team and provide services at the same time. This was a massive group effort involving almost every department at New American Pathways. But it wasn’t just our team who rallied, it was our supporters and partners. We were flooded with monetary and material donations and offers to volunteer. Our community pitched in to make sure the Afghan families arriving in Georgia had the supplies and resources they needed.
When I reflect on all that has happened in just one year, I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the New AP team, our donors, our volunteers, and an ever-growing network of community partners. It has not been perfect, and we have learned a lot. All the Afghans we welcomed are now in permanent housing. Children have been enrolled in school and adults are starting jobs. In the coming months we will continue to provide employment, immigration and case management support to Afghans as they move toward self-sufficiency. Our goal is help these individuals and families thrive in their new home.
I continue to be in awe of the magnificent strength, resilience, and determination shown by the Afghan families we serve. Together, we are building a strong community that I’m extremely proud to be a part of. In the coming months and years, I look forward to sharing more of their stories of perseverance and inspiration as they proceed along their personal pathway as new Americans.