The year began with a change in our group name, from “Friendship Team” to “Refugee Good Neighbor Team”. We feel this name supports our mission to the refugee families.
In February we were matched with 2 families from Afghanistan. They arrived in America shortly after our US Troops were pulled out and the Taliban took over. They spent several months at an Army Camp in New Jersey before being relocated to Illinois. World Relief helped them with finding apartments and jobs for the men. The families are related and have family that have been nearby for over 2 years.
We began in February with weekly visits. We soon learned that working with the families was going to be a rewarding experience as they are lovely people and are so grateful to be here in America.
We have shared several wonderful meals prepared by them. Their hospitality is their way of repaying us for our time and efforts. The true reward for us as volunteers has been to see the families succeed and make a new way of life. We have formed a bond of true friendship with them. Our assigned interaction time has ended but we are sure our friendships will continue.
In addition, we support a refugee family who came out of the Rwandan genocide. In the fall of 2021 they moved to a home they purchased. They are a delight and will be offered support as needed in the future.
The team will soon be discussing next steps as to the possibility of taking on new refugee families in 2023.