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Catholic Social Services helping resettle Afghan refugees in Lincoln

Catholic Social Services Resettles Afghan Refugees
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 7:20 AM CST
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LINCOLN, Neb. (KOLN) - Catholic Social Services is helping Afghan refugees resettle in Lincoln. So far, they’ve resettled 75 refugees including three Afghan men, who all made a difficult choice to leave their families behind.

More: Mayor Gaylor Baird on Afghan refugees coming to Lincoln

“It was hard, so then my father decided. He told me, ‘You can go. You are unsafe. You are more important to us. You should go to be safe,’” said Irfan, a 23-year-old refugee. “It’s really hard for us to live without family,” explained Irfan.

They came to Lincoln, leaving their country behind after the Taliban takeover in August.

More: Lincoln man asks for help getting Afghan family in danger to safety

All were allowed to come to the United States based on their various roles helping the U.S. government. Irfan worked as an interpreter at the presidential palace in Afghanistan’s capital, Kabul. He is helping other refugees understand the English language through translation.

Another refugee, Mohibullah, was an engineer for the military and is hoping to continue his engineering work here in the U.S.

The third refugee, Ezatgul, did not attend school in Afghanistan due to the war and is taking classes with Lincoln Literacy after resettling.

CSS said so many refugees struggle to resettle without their families.

“Once they get here, every single question that I get from every single refugee that arrives is ‘When can I bring my family here,’” said Pimpicha Tubsuwan, Director of Refugee Resettlement at CSS.

Tubsuwan said it’s easier to settle single refugees without families.

“The downside is they have to leave their family members that are still left in Afghanistan. We don’t know if they are in a safe place or not,” Tubsuwan said.

However, they are grateful for the extended family they gained in Lincoln, including their caseworkers at CSS, like Tubsuwan. She helped them find housing, get health insurance and work permits.

“She’s doing a lot for us,” Irfan said, “I’m really thankful for her.”

While they are resettling, they continue to worry about the safety of their families back home.

“Physically, we are here, but mentally, we are in Afghanistan,” Mohibullah said.

CSS is still helping refugees and needs donations like household supplies and furniture. They are also in need of clothing, especially winter coats. They have a registry with items that can be purchased for refugees. Visit their website for more information on how to donate.

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