WA-ARC was created after a conversation between MAPS-AMEN’s Executive Director (an Afghan-American attorney working to help resettle Afghan refugees who was regularly asked by many new Afghan arrivals and those helping them about available resources) and a founding member of Viets For Afghans who was inspired by the first Vietnamese language newspaper in the United States, which was sponsored by the U.S. government for Vietnamese refugees resettled in Washington state after the fall of Saigon. The newspaper served as a hub of information and community building activity, and a similar concept could be useful for Afghans resettled in Washington after the fall of Kabul in August 2021. Grassroots community organizers, Afghan refugees, and established social services organizations working on this project are building on Washington’s rich history of welcoming newcomers, and providing resources for self-reliance and self-sufficiency.
“As a state, we have welcomed over 3,200 new Afghans to Washington. These new families need access to information and resources to build their new lives here. And the many people and organizations who want to help our new Afghan neighbors also need a centralized hub for the many — and often changing — resources available to best support our new neighbors in not only surviving but thriving in our state. That’s what WA-ARC seeks to provide.”
– Aneelah Afzali, Executive Director, MAPS-AMEN