Six months ago, after surviving the airport bombing, a family of four boarded one of the last planes as the US withdrew from Afghanistan. They were told that people, not things, were being transported and were forced to leave nearly everything behind. Flown to one country, then another, the family finally touched ground in the United States.
Just three months ago this family traveled from a military base in New Jersey to IRIS in New Haven, CT, where they were greeted by four friendly faces before heading to their new home in Waterbury, CT.
They arrived with tons of clothing, plenty of expectations and fears, and few other possessions.
Over the next few months, in an overwhelming whirlwind of activity, they met most of the members of New Start Ministry, CT. The children were enrolled in school, the adults in English classes. They were all tutored at home as well. They had countless medical appointments, employment evaluations, meetings, and opportunities to go shopping for food, clothing, and household necessities.
They also connected with family and friends across the United States. Each had a different story of their resettlement process, giving rise to a confusion of new and different expectations from "our family' and an increasing urgency to reconnect with some semblance of the culture and community from which they were forced to flee.
A little over three months from their arrival in New Start Ministry CT's care, the family boarded a plane for Houston, TX with plans to connect with family and friends. As they embark on this new venture, they hold high hopes of receiving the significant social, cultural and emotional support the Afghan community there can provide - something they clearly longed for from the day we met them.
We wish them great success and abundant happiness as they once again embark on a new start.
Stay tuned for news as to what is next for New Start Ministry CT!