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If you can read this, you can help

Volunteers are desperately needed to teach English to newly arrived refugees

Following the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan in 2021, an estimated 70,000 Afghans – many of whom worked closely with U.S. military during the 20-year war – immigrated to the United States. To help ensure a safe landing in our country, the government set up Operation Allies Welcome, helping provide the refugees with housing, medical care, food and other necessities until they were sufficiently settled and able to support themselves.

Through ReEstablish Richmond, a 12-year-old nonprofit that specializes in refugee services, the Richmond region has welcomed almost 900 Afghans. These families have been taking the first steps toward a new life in America – finding jobs and permanent homes, enrolling in schools and learning the rhythms of a place very different from their former country.

Today, ReEstablish Richmond says that its most critical need is for English as a second language (ESL) tutors. About 20 ESL tutors are currently needed to teach English once a week for six months, typically out of a refugee’s home. Clients (who speak either Dari or Pashto) have educational backgrounds that run the gamut – from preliteracy to some elementary education to high school and even college grads.

There are just two qualifications to become a tutor: You must speak fluent English and be willing to make a once-a-week commitment for a half year, with an option to continue. ReEstablish Richmond has both training programs and resources available to make teaching English as turnkey as possible.

Want to volunteer? Click here to sign up for the September training.

Header image provided by ReEstablish Richmond.

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