St. Julia’s Parish Asks for Help for Three Afghan Refugees
In the last few months, volunteers from St. Julia’s Parish in Weston/Lincoln have been working to help out three Afghan men who are seeking refugee status in the United States. All three men had been working for the US government in various capacities and are highly trained in engineering, economics and security, but were forced to flee Afghanistan for their own safety in August 2021–leaving their jobs, homes and families.
St. Julia’s is involved through its status as a Partner Organized to Welcome Immigrants and Refugees (POWIR). Since its inception in 2010, POWIR-participating parishes have recruited thousands of community volunteers to assist refugees adjust to life in the U.S. Thousands of refugee clients have received pro bono legal counsel and medical services, made friends, learned English, found work, and achieved social integration.
One of the volunteers working with the effort is Alyson Muzila, who the Owl reached for comment on Saturday.
“This summer, many of us witnessed on the news the chaos and fear of Afghan citizens as they tried to flee their country for the safety of their families. Thousands of refugees are now safe in the US, but many must still support their families left back at home. Supplies and resources are limited in Afghanistan, and these men want nothing more than to reunite with their families here in the US. It’s the generosity of communities like Weston and Lincoln that can make the difference in whether these hard working individuals can start strong as they begin their new lives in Massachusetts.”
The three men being helped by St. Julia’s need work, living support (utility and food costs), and assistance with transportation and healthcare. Two of the men need help learning English, and eventually need to test for driver’s licenses to enable them to get to work. Two of the men have large families at home who are dependent on any income that they can send home – Afghanistan is suffering severe shortages of work, food, and security.
On Christmas Eve, a wonderful group of volunteers helped furnish and make ready a nearby apartment that the men share. Two of the three men are beginning to look for work, while the third is waiting on paperwork that will enable him to work in the US. While they get acclimated, St Julia’s POWIR group is committed to supporting them, but is asking for the help of the entire community.
If you are willing to help, there are three suggested ways:
- Sign up for specific donations or services (gift cards, heating for a month, transportation cards, or offering rides to appointments) at the Sign-Up Genius .
- Donate to help support our friends’ needs over the coming months. These funds are necessary for rent, health bills, any clothing needs, English as a Second Language assistance, transportation, etc. You can find the donation link here.
If you would like to discuss any of these opportunities or have any questions, please contact Colm McGarry, Pastoral Youth Minister at St. Julia Parish Weston/Lincoln, MA, at firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is also available on the parish website.