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By Iliana Ponce,
Outreach Program Coordinator

Friday | 11.03.2021

We did it team! The first week of our OAR Clinic has been completed! πŸ™‚

We originally expected 15 Refugees in our office but due to some unexpected changes we were able to welcome & receive 12 refugees through our doors.

Our volunteers did a phenomenal job working with the Refugees & their families. The children loved the play area & shared a few stories, laughs & recited the ABC’s with one of our volunteers. I kept one of their drawings & pages where they wrote the ABC’s. One of the children gave me a paper flower they made – I displayed it by our windows.

A gentleman drew a flag with words underneath, he looked at it & hugged his son as they admired what he drew. Another gentleman called me over to simply say β€œTasakor” or β€œThank You” in Dari, he proceeded to me show me pictures of his wife & 2 yr. old son in Kabul & said β€œI miss them.” I learned β€œfamily” in Dari is pronounced, β€œfamil” – I’m so thankful for these interactions.

We’re working daily on addressing any complications in order to better serve these individuals – the work is never ending but it’s so rewarding. We will continue to work diligently to serve our community. We look forward to continue working with BCS, our volunteers, donors & community as we prepare for many more OAR Clinic days.

This is only the beginning … πŸ™‚

– Iliana Ponce

Your ongoing support has built up Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates’ legal services program to meet the needs of hundreds of Afghan new arrivals in West Michigan. You can keep up to date with regular news about our efforts here on our blog, social media, and by email newsletter. In addition, we hope you will consider making a year-end gift, donating materials, and volunteering to ensure the best possible welcome for our new neighbors. Learn more to be the lightkeepers our world needs:

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