Volunteer to help Afghan Refugees in Cleveland

 Want to help refugees from Afghanistan living on the eastside get acclimated to their new city? Many from our church have already helped! 

USCRI (United States Committee for Refugees and Immigrants) needs adult volunteers to become mentors to a number of newly arrived refugees who had been allies to the US troops in Afghanistan.  Some are families and other are men who are waiting for the rest of their family to immigrate to the US.  You can be a community guide to help them learn more about the Cleveland area, learn and practice English skills, learn how to take out a library book, use public transportation, navigate the health care system, shop at a local grocery store or Afghan friendly store (eg: Rumi’s) and much more.  Consider 1-2 hours a week, just being a friend would be welcome.

For our family it has been so gratifying and fun to be able to help the Safi family navigate a new town and help create systems and resources in the east side for an emerging Afghan community.  Gabriel has taken them to ESL class, Graham has played with the kids and helped set up their household, and Heather especially enjoys offering educational support and navigating systems and resources for the family. This includes early literacy skills with the kids, engaging with the children’s schools and being on point for communication.  There are lots of laughs and misunderstanding.  We use pictures and gesturing often and we’ve learned some Pashto while the Safi’s learn English. 

To find out more about volunteering, please contact Heather or Gabriel Torok, active USCRI volunteers themselves.  htorok216@gmail.com or gtorok216@gmail.com