Afghan Update

Over the past month, at least 150 Afghans have arrived in Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire. Many of them are staying in hotels, awaiting the availability of apartments. It is primarily a mixture of single men or families. At the moment, there are at least 25 single men and 5 families staying in hotels near Manchester, and at least 7 families in hotels near Lowell. The kids are of all ages, and not surprisingly, kids. I have spoken to many of them, and universally they have been happy to be off the army bases, and waiting patiently to be resettled into apartments as they become available. The education and language skills of the recent arrivals is from no English to complete fluency, from professionals to security guards. One woman told briefly of her journey over the past four months, leaving on a flight from Kabul to Qater, then onto a US Air Base in Germany, to a large airbase in Texas, and about 2 weeks ago to Boston, now waiting for an apartment.Dee and her team recently collected items requested by IINE. She and her team delivered the items to the IINE offices in Lowell, having filled 4 trucks/SUV’s on items donated over the weekend. These donations were greatly appreciated by the staff.Volunteer opportunities change literally daily. If you haven’t already, contact Dee Riemer, who is co-team leader of a volunteer group from Andover/North Andover/Haverhill area. Current volunteer opportunities include transportation of new arrivals from their new homes to the Lowell office, snack deliveries to the Lowell or Manchester offices, and meal or grocery delivery to Lowell office, or large scale meal preparation for the Manchester office.There are a couple of forms which need to be filled out if you wish to volunteer, available from Dave Lewis or Dee Riemer.