Many Idahoans moved by compassion by what's happening in Afghanistan have reached out seeking ways to help. We are deeply grateful! Here are some ideas on how you can be involved in refugee resettlement in Idaho:
If you would like to volunteer, be a mentor, rent out housing or provide transportation to refugees, we invite you to fill out our Volunteer Form so we know how to reach you and how you would like to be involved. Your answers will only be seen by the Idaho Office for Refugees and our partners at the three resettlement agencies in Idaho.
2. DONATE & SUPPORT
Idaho's three resettlement agencies are:
The Idaho Office for Refugees partners with these agencies and administers refugee assistance and services statewide, including English classes and cultural orientation, farming assistance, peer support and career mentorship.
Beyond donations, expressing your compassion and support for welcoming people who are fleeing violence does make a difference on social media and in your circles.
3. ATTEND AN EVENT
Make new friends and learn from other cultural perspectives at one of the many community events hosted by former refugees and/or the resettlement community. From virtual cooking classes to dance performances to evenings of storytelling, there are so many fun ways to get connected. Follow along with our Community Calendar and keep in touch by subscribing to our newsletter.
4. CONTACT ELECTED OFFICIALS
Idaho's resettlement agencies are engaging with our congressional delegation to provide information on how the situation in Afghanistan is affecting Idahoans and their family members. Key areas of focus are advocating for women's rights and pushing for improved processing of SIVs (Special Immigrant Visa) and P-2 Visas for vulnerable Afghans.
Click on the following links to email elected officials:
Gov. Brad Little has strongly encouraged the Biden Administration "to take all available measures to ensure the protection of American personnel and our Afghan allies that stood by our nation’s side for nearly two decades."
And Boise Mayor Lauren McLean recently reaffirmed her commitment to supporting refugee resettlement by joining fellow elected officials from around the country in signing onto a letter to President Biden asking to restore the resettlement program in full. The full letter can be found at welcomingrefugees2022.org.
5. LISTEN AND LEARN
To better understand the experiences and perspectives of fellow Idahoans who have firsthand ties to Afghanistan, please check out the following local news reports. You can also receive regular updates about Idaho's refugee community and resettlement efforts by subscribing to the Idaho Office for Refugees newsletter.
Click here for a helpful explainer from the National Immigration Forum about SIVs (Special Immigrant Visas), Priority-2 refugee status and Humanitarian Parole.