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Afghan refugee family of 11 helped by Idahoans

The family was given the opportunity to come to America because of their support of Americans in Afghanistan
Published: Apr. 4, 2022 at 11:09 AM MDT
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TWIN FALLS, Idaho (KMVT/KSVT) — In a matter of weeks, tens of thousands of Afghans resettled in the United States thanks to Operation Allies Welcome, and some of those who relocated to Southern Idaho have since been assisted by locals and military veterans.

After months of living in military refugee camps, one family of 11 arrived in Twin Falls in early January. They were granted the opportunity to come to America because of the support they gave to Americans in Afghanistan during which their own personal safety was put at risk.

The Johns and Brown family of Twin Falls, as well as an Idaho military veteran, have been assisting them while they get on their feet. One man who is aiding the family said this is an example of military families helping out their own.

“The same way we would take care of our military families, we take care of the interpreters that gave us the ability to be safer, reduce risk and allow our comrades to come home,” said military veteran Alex Castagno. “So we should treat them the same way that we treat our own.”

There are still basic resources those assisting the family are trying to help coordinate including food assistance, clothing, in-home wi-fi, driving education classes and home furnishings.

The children are also learning the English language in school.

Those helping the family said this shows the importance of even the most basic necessities.

“Clothing and food, and just get(ting) them up and running with school and all the things, that as an American it’s so simple, but when you arrive here from Afghanistan after the Taliban is trying to kill you, you’re on the last flights out, and you arrive in America and it’s just--what do you do?” said Castagno.

He said it’s hard enough for Americans to make it right now, but it’s even more difficult for those who come to the U.S. seeking safety.

A GoFundMe has been created in order to provide further assistance to the family, as they build their new life in America.

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