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September Update

08/29/2022 03:25:13 PM


Peter Katz

This summer has been super busy for the Afghan family being hosted by CDT.  After those early days of welcoming the family and arranging for benefits, the work since March has focused on supporting them to become a part of their new community. They have made much progress! 
Getting a job– In March, MW (the dad) secured a full-time job at Whole Foods – in fact, he had 4 job offers to choose from! Congregants met with potential employers, completed online applications, and prepped him for the interviews. Once he was hired, we helped with onboarding activities and explained his benefits. MW still deserves full credit for a successful job search in a new culture. He started work during Ramadan when he was fasting during the day and celebrating with family afterwards. He has thrived at his job and his hard work and congeniality earned him “Hospitality Employee of the Month” in July.  
Learning– With the support of CDT tutors and the CDT childcare team, MW and Kh (the mom) have made tremendous progress in learning English. With MW working full time,  childcare was needed to allow Kh to continue her studies. This was a huge priority for the team.  Kh graduated this summer to Level 3 and hopes to explore training opportunities – perhaps in nursing. Four-year old daughter T is thriving at HeadStart. Her English is very advanced and she is energetic and outgoing. Y, the younger brother, participated last spring in an early education playgroup. He is a confident and curious toddler. 
Settling in– The family has been busy making their house a home.  We have some very savvy shoppers at CDT exploiting “Buy Nothing” groups, thrift stores and the generosity of the Congregation to address family needs. A very generous donation of an Afghan rug has become a treasured possession. We rented a moving van so MW and Kh could visit Household Goods, a non-profit  furniture warehouse in Acton where they found numerous useful items including a bookshelf that gives a place of honor to the many children’s books that visitors have contributed to their library. Volunteers introduced Kh to Savers to pick out clothes and other items for the family.  Finally, the CDT food team has made sure that the family has Afghan bread and regular trips to Market Basket! 
Legal Status– When the US brought Afghan allies to this country, we did not create an unambiguous path to permanent status. Pro-bono lawyers, in consult with the PAIR Project, are working within our byzantine immigration system to apply for asylum for the family. It would be much better if Congress acknowledged our obligation and passed the Afghan Adjustment Act! It would be helpful for CDT members to contact their Congressional Representative and indicate their support for passage.
Exploring– Finally, it has been a joy for volunteers to introduce the family to the many summer opportunities that Boston offers—Crane’s Beach, the New England Aquarium, the Science Museum, the July 4th fireworks, outdoor children’s concerts at the Arlington Library, Walden Pond, Artesani Park, and many others. 

Support for the fall– Despite all of this success, challenges remain. We learned at the end of July that MW needs complicated knee surgery. This surgery will keep him home for approximately 3 months with intensive physical therapy. We will likely need more volunteers to help with transportation to PT and with childcare this fall. If you might want to volunteer time you can learn more by emailingl Janet Penn ( Watch for news about other ways to support the family as they make the Boston area a place to call home.

Mon, June 24 2024 18 Sivan 5784