San Antonio is anticipating the resettlement of many individuals and families from Afghanistan. These newest arrivals are part of the Special Immigrant Visas program, whereby Afghans who worked for the US military in Afghanistan in a variety of capacities, seek safety in the US. Some may have served the military as interpreters, others may have served as mechanics, nurses, drivers, etc.
Consequently, their education, training, and English language skills may vary. However, all performed essential services for the US military, often risking their lives. These individuals and their families are now in danger from the Taliban for the assistance they provided the US. The US has pledged to get those awaiting their Special Immigrant Visas to safety in the US. At last, they are finally coming. San Antonio may be receiving as many as 1,000 Afghan SIVs over the next 12 months. Already in July we received about 10 new families, but the pace is rapidly picking up.
Corina Vinarov, a high school student, through her charitable organization Forgotten Needs has recently delivered to CRS 50 Health and Wellness bags full of hygiene related products. The arrival of her latest 50 bags could not have come at a more opportune time. CRS provides the bags with a New Refugee Handbook in English, Pashto, Dari, or Arabic, that CRS staff created to help new arrivals get familiar with San Antonio and available services.