AFS members joins Afghan refugee program

Laneya Christian, Staff Writer

AFS has joined the Manhattan Afghan Resettlement Team (MART), a group formed by the governmental relations committee that provides resources and materials for Afghan refugees who have just arrived in the United States. AFS will also help out Afghan refugees who have been in Manhattan for a while.

“We do have several people in our community who are connected with the program,” AFS president Hannah Loub, senior, said. “Coordinator of AFS [Janet] Hanson inspired and encouraged me to organize AFS to help.”

The Manhattan Afghan Resettlement Team helps refugees assimilate through language classes and assists refugees moving into new housing. It started in November 2021 and is runned by social service agencies who are the intercultural leaders by areas of focus.

AFS is composed of 10 exchange students, some of whom live close to the conflict happening in Ukraine right now. AFS felt the need to do something locally to share concern, worries and condolences.

“We accessed information on the Manhattan Afghan Resettlement Team website and got to meet up with two co-leads [Manhattan City Commissioner Aaron Estabrook] and [US Army Veteran/K-State student Fatima Jaghoori] who coordinate those efforts,” Hanson said. “From there on we worked out a time for MART to come to MHS to speak with AFS.”

During that club meeting, AFS learned further about MART and what they could do to assess those efforts. AFS came up with making welcome signs.

“We created signs of welcome for families who are resetting in their permanent housing,” Loub said. “Since the Afghan families who are here now have been moved into permanent housing we would really like to go and visit them once we get their addresses and deliver a loaf of bread.”

AFS’s goal is to help the Afghan refugees understand that MHS is happy that they are now a part of our community.

“I hope that it’s something we can continue in AFS,” Loub said. “I hope that this is something that future club members get actively involved in.”