LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — As thousands of Afghan refugees enter the United States under the country’s resettlement program, many of them are making their way to Michigan. One former refugee here in landing says he wants to make their transition easy.
Two years ago Yusuf Sultani says he felt disconnected when he arrived in the U.S.
“I had little broken English that I could barely communicate with anyone. So I needed someone from my country that could speak the same language and the way I could speak and express myself,” said Sultani, President of the Afghan Association of Michigan.
He knows thousands of refugees will be facing the same challenges. That’s why he wants to help them through his organization the Afghan Association of Michigan.
“I wanted to be a mentor for them, I wanted to have a community that welcomed them,” Sultani said.
In partnership with St. Vincent Catholic Charities, volunteers welcome families in their native language when they arrive at the airport.
“It shows that there’s people from their own country here. I want to be there to speak the same language and welcome them to their home with a hot meal from their culture and that could give them a warm feeling that they could start a new home here,” he said.
Interpreters stay by their side to help fill out paperwork, show them around the community and ease their transition. Sultani says they need help doing so.
“We need as much volunteers as many people that want to be volunteers,” he said.
Whether it’s helping them get groceries, assisting with paperwork, interpret Pashto, or any help you can off. If you’re interested in donating your time you can find the link in the Seen on 6 section.