Catholic Charities help settle 120 Afghan refugees around Green Bay

Published: Jan. 14, 2022 at 6:38 PM CST
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ALLOUEZ, Wis. (WBAY) - Over a hundred Afghan refugees now call the Green Bay area home, thanks to the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay.

“Everything that we watch on the news through FOX and CNN that happened at Kabul airport, I have watched from somebody’s telephone,” agency intake and case management specialist Alnilda Albizu with the Diocese of Green Bay shared. “It’s a different feeling when you see it from somebody’s telephone that they were right there seeing everything happen.”

The Afghan refugees we interviewed wanted to remain anonymous on-camera to protect their family members still in danger from the Taliban in Afghanistan. Though they feel safe here, the day they left still causes pain.

“Those are my worst memories in my entire life,” one Afghan refugee who fled with his now 5-month pregnant wife said. “I didn’t get to see my family before leaving. I only saw them for five minutes. The reason for seeing them was because they brought my wife to the airport because I was not able to go back home and grab my wife.”

Since October, Catholic Charities has helped resettle 120 Afghan refugees with about 70 guests already leasing permanent housing. The Catholic Charities serve their community by not just preaching the word of God but putting it into action. Especially when it comes to lowering the language barrier with Afghan refugees.

“Everything is completely different,” Afghan interpreter with the diocese, Sayed Wardak, emphasized. “You’re starting your life from like zero. That’s why I wanted to start with them. Show them where to start and how to end up.”

Before translating part-time for the Diocese of Green Bay, Wardak was a refugee himself. He moved from Afghanistan six years ago and recently became a citizen. His wife and two young children have loved having more Afghans here in their new hometown.

“What I want to do is to stay here for a long time because it is a good place,” another Afghan refugee who fled by himself explained. “The people that live here are so kind. That’s what I like.”

“Our lives can only be enriched by meeting these new friends who have so many experiences different than us, but have come here for the next chapter in their lives,” Mary Arnold, a local volunteer with Catholic Charities, highlighted.

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