Since 2021, the United States has evacuated nearly 100,000 Afghani refugees at the conclusion of our war on terror in Afghanistan. Many of these refugees worked for the U.S. government during the war and are targets for the Taliban. This evacuation was part of the U.S. "Operation Allies Refuge." According to Lutheran Family Services Rocky Mountains, "Current and former Afghan translators, interpreters, and others who have worked with the US government in Afghanistan are facing deadly danger as the US drawdown continues and the Taliban reclaims territory once controlled by Afghan and coalition forces. The Special Immigrant Visa, or SIV, program allows Afghans who work or worked "by or on behalf of the U.S. government in Afghanistan," as well as family members, to qualify for visas and lawful permanent resident status in the US" (https://www.lfsrm.org/afghan-refugees/).
There are many Afghani refugees who have recently immigrated through the immigrant and refugee center in the Colorado Springs area. Our club has offered local support in the last year with modest needs of some of these refugees, including purchasing small kitchen appliances and cookware, and we would like to continue doing more.
Describe the benefit to the community and/or improve lives:
This project will primarily support the area of focus of Rotary International of Peacebuilding and Conflict Prevention. Providing essential resources for 1-2 local refugee families displaced as a result of conflict will help them provide for some basic needs for their children and spouses.
We have established relationships in the Colorado Springs area within the past year to identify and support a couple of Afghani families who have recently immigrated to the U.S. We will seek to continue to build relationships with organizations, such as Lutheran Family Services, to ensure our support goes to families in need and that these refugee families have a local network of support.
Active Rotarian Involvement:
The Greeley Centennial Rotary Club has been active in collaborating with agencies in Colorado Springs to understand the current needs, educate our club members, and provide support to help the refugees successfully transition to their new lives in the U.S.
Total Project Budget: $450
$450 from the Greeley Centennial Rotary and the 5440 District, consisting of $150 club dollars with matching funds of $300 from our district.
Greeley Centennial Rotary will write an article as the project progresses updating both the club membership and District 5440. It is our hope that we'll be able to travel to Colorado Springs 2022-2023 to collaborate with immigration services and or meet the families. We will submit the article to the local newspapers in Greeley and Colorado Springs. Twice annually, our World Community Service Committee reports to our club on project progress.