REFUGEE CRISIS IN AFGHANISTAN
HOW YOU CAN HELP IILA SUPPORT AFGHAN REFUGEES
On August 15, 2021, the Taliban captured the capital city of Kabul, effectively taking control of the government of Afghanistan and sparking mass evacuations of international personnel and Afghan citizens. Thousands of Afghans at risk of retaliatory violence from the Taliban have been evacuated, including those who worked with the U.S. government and military.
While this refugee crisis is rapidly evolving, International Institute of Los Angeles is working closely with the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants (USCRI) to coordinate the arrival and resettlement of Afghan refugees in Southern California. This is in addition to refugees from around the world whom we are already serving.
IILA’s current priorities are securing temporary and long-term housing for refugee families, identifying employment opportunities, and raising funds to assist families with their most urgent needs. We need your support more than ever to aid vulnerable families and individuals fleeing instability and the threat of violence. Act Now for Afghan Allies.
OUR IMPACT BY THE NUMBERS
Individuals resettled in Southern California by IILA since August 2021, including Afghan Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) holders, refugees, and evacuees.
Afghan evacuees IILA expects to resettle in the next six months, not including 500-600 refugees from Myanmar, Central America & other parts of the world and Afghan SIVs.
Volunteer interest submissions received, including community members generously offering to host, volunteer, donate, and support our Afghan allies however they can.
Amount given to resettling families by federal agencies for food, housing & basic needs. Intended to temporarily meet minimum living standards, but not nearly enough for L.A. Families are also expected to pay back airfare to L.A.
Estimated resettlement cost per family which includes job training & placement, computers for the family, 6 months of rent & deposit assistance, transportation assistance, and other basic necessities.
Amount raised to date for the Act Now for Afghan Allies campaign from generous community members. Make a gift today to directly help our Afghan allies resettle in L.A. and begin their new lives.
- October 6, 2021: Seeking Landlords Interested in Renting to Refugees
- October 1, 2021: How You Can Sponsor a Resettling Afghan Family
- September 30, 2021: Act Now for Afghan Allies: Volunteer Update
- September 15, 2021: Press Release: IILA Resettling Dozens of Afghan Refugees, Anticipating Hundreds More
- September 3, 2021: How Are Afghan Evacuees Vetted Before Arriving in the US?
- August 19, 2021: Press Release: IILA Ramps Up Resettlement Services for Afghan Refugees
TO SUPPORT CRITICAL SERVICES FOR REFUGEES
MAKE A GIFT TO SUPPORT FAMILIES
Donate today to support critical services for refugees arriving from Afghanistan and all over the world. Your gift will directly address refugees’ most urgent needs and equips our staff to help refugees feel safe, adjust to a new environment, support their families, and gain the skills to eventually become self-sufficient and participate in their new communities.
Your gift of any amount will support:
- Resettlement costs, including initial meals, transportation, housing, and other set-up expenses
- Basic necessities, including rental assistance, bus vouchers, phones, laptops, and school materials
- Health services, including physical and mental health screenings
- Social services, including language programs, job training and search, and child care
Designate your gift to Act Now for Afghan Allies for the current crisis in Afghanistan or to the Refugee Fund to provide broad operational support to IILA refugee services. Make a secure online donation to support refugees here.
SPONSOR A REFUGEE FAMILY
Family Sponsors help cover critical expenses for a specific family during the first six months of their resettlement. These first months are crucial to helping the family successfully start their new lives, find community and purpose, and ultimately become self-sufficient. IILA can share periodic updates on how the family is doing and other details that the family provides.
Whether you are an individual, family, business, faith group, social association, sports league, or a group of friends, your group can come together to pool resources and make a huge difference in welcoming our Afghan allies. Learn more how you can sponsor a resettling Afghan family.
THROUGH TEMPORARY HOSTING OR RENTING LONG-TERM
HOST REFUGEES IN YOUR HOME
Showing hospitality is one of the most powerful ways you can respond to the refugee crisis. As we work to secure long-term housing, there is a great need for volunteer hosts to temporarily provide safe accommodations in their homes for newly-arrived individuals and families, not only from Afghanistan but all around the world.
Anyone with a spare bedroom can sign up to be a host, but our current priority is for hosts who can provide housing for at least 2 weeks and can accommodate larger families of at least 5.
To ensure a safe and positive cross-cultural experience for all, IILA will screen arriving individuals to make an appropriate match, make sure hosts feel well-equipped, prepared, and comfortable, facilitate a clear understanding of the housing arrangement, and always be available to provide guidance.
RENT A HOME TO REFUGEE FAMILY
While LA is full of opportunities for resettling families, it is an expensive place to live. Credit checks, proof of income, and rent deposits present high barriers for refugee families seeking a permanent home. IILA provides temporary rental assistance, but we also need landlords willing to waive or reduce these requirements. Safe and stable housing is a critical first step for refugees to rebuild their lives. Learn more how landlords can rent property to refugees.
TO HELP FAMILIES BECOME SELF-SUFFICIENT
In addition to getting families resettled safely in Southern California, a major priority is equipping families with the skills to become fully self-sufficient participants in our society and economy.
Federal aid is intended to be temporary until the refugees are able to find employment. IILA’s Match Grant employment program works closely with refugees to provide career preparedness training, but we rely on the community to offer job placement opportunities.
From mom-and-pop shops to large corporations, we are looking for employers with positions for refugees to gain skills and experience to support their families. While many refugees have education and work experience, entry-level positions are important first steps to restarting their careers, including:
- Data-entry or clerical duties in an office
- Food preparation or service in a restaurant
- Logistics for a shipping or warehouse operation
- Positions with on-the-job training in manufacturing
TO ASSIST WITH REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT
“L.A. has a long history of welcoming refugees. When refugees are given the tools to become self-sufficient, they are empowered to fully participate in and give back to their communities. That is what makes the L.A. we know today so vibrant and diverse.
Evacuating our Afghan allies is only the first step. We must be prepared to help them resettle and succeed in their new lives.”
– Cambria Tortorelli, President & CEO of IILA
OTHER WAYS TO VOLUNTEER
Our current highest priorities for volunteers to assist with resettlement include:
- Legal assistance, including attorneys and legal professionals who can assist refugees with asylum applications so that they can qualify for federal benefits as soon as possible.
- Interpreters, particularly those who can speak Dari, Farsi, or Pashto.
If you have already submitted a Volunteer Interest Form or Volunteer Screening Form to volunteer for other services, thank you! We have your submissions on record and will be reaching out to you when there is an immediate need for your services!
SIGN UP TO OFFER TEMPORARY HOUSING, LONG-TERM HOUSING, EMPLOYMENT, OR VOLUNTEER SERVICES
TO HELP A FAMILY FEEL AT HOME
At this time, we do not have a need for donated items and furniture.
If you have already submitted your offer of donated items, our staff will reach out when there is an immediate need. Due to limited space and staff, IILA cannot store donated items.
We are fortunate to have received so many offers of donations. We appreciate your generosity, understanding, and patience at this time.
The best way to provide us with the greatest flexibility to address refugees’ most urgent needs is with a monetary donation.
International Institute of Los Angeles is a proud member of the Welcome.US Coalition.