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As a woman from the Hazara ethnic group, who still faces discrimination in Afghanistan, Karini said she faces challenges at every turn. After growing up in poverty in Ghazni province, 26-year-old Karini was close to completing a degree in economics from Kabul University when the Taliban took power.

“I had a dream in Afghanistan,” says Karini (pictured above). “But that dream is broken and now I have to build new dreams here.”

After months of traveling – through Germany, Washington, D.C. and New Mexico – Karini landed in Washington state, where she has lived for eight months. When she arrived, she was carrying only four sets of clothes, two books and scars on her legs, where the wire surrounding Kabul Airport sank into her skin.

In May 2022, the United States granted Afghan refugees temporary protected status for 18 months – the same name given to Ukrainians in March. This elevated status prevents refugees from being sent back to their home countries in the ongoing crisis. Since February 2022, more than 74,000 Afghan citizens have been admitted to the U.S. since Kabul fell to the Taliban.

In Washington state, lawmakers have earmarked more than $ 19 million in 2023 for contracts with nonprofits to provide resettlement services. Seattle Harbor alone and its partners received more than 3,000 refugees from Afghanistan between September and February.

Karini is just one of many refugees who have been helped by these resettlement efforts. When she arrived in Tacoma, Karini was affiliated with the Refugee Alliance, a non-profit organization that helps immigrants in the Puget Sound area with employment, housing, and mental health.

“No. 1 is housing,” says Mahnaz Eshetu, executive director of ReWA. “People want a roof over their heads. And to stay – to have a stable apartment – they need a job.

For smaller nonprofits, Eshetu says, it can be difficult to manage both fundraising and growth, but providing housing and employment to asylum seekers depends on the organization’s ability to raise funds. These days, he says, he works with a strong labor market and that there have been many opportunities to connect refugees with employers.

In the past, Washington in general and Puget Sound in particular have accepted a refugee population, Eshetu says. The country ranked second in the country in the number of refugees admitted in 2020. For the past 10 years, the country has also been the most popular destination for Ukrainian refugees, according to data from the U.S. Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration. From October 2021 to May 2022, 263 Ukrainians resettled in Washington – a number that is expected to increase if Ukrainians are given humanitarian parole status and allowed to enter the country without visas.

In October, Gov. Jay Inslee addressed new arrivals from Afghanistan at Sea-Tac International Airport and said he “wants to see these new Washington residents flourish.”

Currently, ReWA pays for Karina’s one-bedroom apartment in King County, but she does the packaging and funds her own English language courses. She says she hopes to be independent soon.

Although housing and employment are the keys to independence, Eshetu says that the initial care of asylum seekers must also be sensitive to their mental well-being. ReWA has several mental health counselors who help refugees and strive to provide services in accessible languages.

“When people leave their countries, they are usually in fear of execution or war – they are traumatized,” Eshetu says of the refugees.

Karini says she did not leave her room for several days after arriving in Washington. In addition to the frustrations of leaving her old life behind, she says she was deeply concerned about her family, who still live in Afghanistan under the Taliban.

But she says the desire was to help Karina’s family take on a more active role in their lives. Today, she provides money for her family at home and hopes to one day be able to join her in the US.

“I thought,‘ If I’m going to sit alone in my house like this, what’s going to happen to my family? ’” Karini says. “That way I can’t help them. That’s enough – I have to start and move on. “

Today, Karini works with the Khazar Community in Washington, a non-profit organization that works with Afghan refugees. She devotes her time voluntarily to helping other women like herself with personal struggles with mental health and sometimes abuses in the family.

When it comes to new immigrants from Afghanistan and Ukraine, Eshetu says resettlement agencies have been lucky that many are highly educated. Eshetu says Afghan refugees, including Karini, had experience working with U.S. troops and thus adapted more quickly to life in the United States.

But this latest wave of refugees to the Puget Sound region is remarkable in this regard – many other refugees have to deal with a language barrier.

When Zahra Karini, 26, fled Afghanistan and arrived in Washington state, she says she did not leave the room for several days. (Indunil Usgoda Arachchi / InvestigateWest)

Twenty-one-year-old Rumeisa Maresha, a native of Eritrea in Northeast Africa, says she didn’t know English when she came to Washington with her family in 2016. Although she already lived in a refugee camp in Ethiopia, this second transition was much more difficult due to the language barrier.

“Adapting to Seattle was not as easy as adapting to Ethiopia from Eritrea. It was a new lifestyle and a new language, ”says Maresha.

Maresha attended English classes for hours at Tacoma High School to bridge the gap between her and other students.

Maresha, who now attends Green River College in southern Seattle, only vaguely remembers the long journey she and her family took while fleeing the war in Eritrea. She was 10 at the time. Maresha says she moves on foot, by bus and donkey carts, she, her two siblings and her parents traveled to Ethiopia from Eritrea.

“We only moved with documents and some clothes,” Maresha said.

For five years, Maresha and her family lived in a camp in Ethiopia, surrounded by thousands of other Eritrean refugees. Like many of their neighbors in the Shimelba camp, Maresh’s family also built their own house, but they always hoped to move to the United States.

Although Maresha went to school and made friends in Ethiopia, she said her parents thought they could provide their children with a better education in America.

Now Maresha is the first person in her family to attend college. She hopes to graduate in aeronautics and become a pilot for international flights – a dream she carried with her all from Eritrea.

For five years, Rumeisa Maresha and her family lived in a camp in Ethiopia, surrounded by thousands of other Eritrean refugees. (Indunil Usgoda Arachchi / InvestigateWest)

Many years ago, Maresha said she would occasionally see a plane flying high above their refugee camp in Ethiopia – at the time, she didn’t yet know the names of the people who flew with them. She also remembers in Tacoma High School that she called pilots “airplane drivers”.

“Even though I didn’t know what the profession was called, I knew I wanted to be a pilot, even though only rich people can do such professions with us,” she said.

Maresha said she was able to take advantage of resources to which she had access only in America. On a trip to the Sea-Tac International Airport in her younger years, Maresha met with a representative of the Flight Museum and got acquainted with a study program called Aeronautical Science Pathways.

In 2020, it began its flight training – and in June 2021 received its first private pilot’s license. The very next day, Maresha took her father on a flight across the skies of Seattle.

“It was amazing,” Maresha said of her first year as a licensed pilot. “My parents were very proud of me.”

This story was first filmed for InvestigateWest on June 22, 2022.

The Puget Sound region receives about 3,000 Afghan refugees

Do you get paid to host a refugee?

It will not pay the hosts; Hosting is an altruistic relationship in which you do not have to pay rent or services in exchange for hosting. Refugees at home will not arrange accommodations for children or guests with serious mental health problems or substance abuse problems.

How much money does a refugee get in the UK? You will receive £ 40.85 for each person in your household. To see also : NBC Sports Washington premieres Off the Ice: Best of Capitals 2021-22. This will help you pay for the things you need, such as food, clothing, and toiletries. Your supplement will be uploaded to your debit card (ASPEN card) each week.

What are the benefits of hosting refugees?


  • Refugees bring productivity to their host countries, where they are included in various communities.
  • They help to enrich their local communities, create cultural diversity in the local population and help foster understanding and respect for social diversity.

How do I get paid to host refugees?

You can apply for refugee cash assistance services online at WashingtonConnection. To see also : 6 reasons to use a travel agent when planning your next family, at your local Community Services office, or by phone by calling 877-501-2233.

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Which city has the most refugees?

In 2017 and 2018, Atlanta resettled the largest number of refugees in any city in the United States. On the same subject : Heilferty drafted to the US U-23 women’s squad.

Which country hosts the most refugees? Turkey, which acts as a geographical springboard to the European Union for millions fleeing the conflict in neighboring Syria, is home to by far the largest number of refugees at 3.7 million. Colombia, Venezuela’s neighbor affected by the crisis, is hosting the second largest amount – 1.7 million.

Which US city has the most refugees?

New York New York has relocated 36,094 refugees since 2010, 6% of all those who arrived in the United States. The primary refugee groups settling in the country were from Bhutan and Myanmar.

Where are the largest amount of refugees located?

1. Syria. More than 25% of the world’s total refugee population is part of the world’s diaspora after a 10-year Syrian crisis. Since 2021, 6.7 million Syrians have sought refuge, mainly in Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt and Turkey (which is currently the largest host community for refugees).

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How many Ukrainian refugees are there?

Since then, more than 8 million refugees have fled Ukraine, while by May 3, about 8 million people had been displaced within the country. About a quarter of the country’s total population had left their homes in Ukraine by March 20.

How many Ukrainian refugees are expected? Since February 24, more than 6.5 million people from Ukraine have crossed international borders to neighboring countries, including Poland and Moldova. It is estimated that about 13 million people are stuck in the affected areas or unable to leave due to increased security risk.

Which country has the most refugees?

Top 10 countries hosting the largest number of international refugees (mid-2021 data):

  • Turkey – 3,696,831.
  • Jordan – 3,027,729.
  • Uganda – 1,475,311.
  • Pakistan – 1,438,523.
  • Lebanon – 1,338,197.
  • Germany – 1,235,160.
  • Sudan – 1,068,339.
  • Bangladesh – 889,775.

Does Ukraine have refugees?

Since mid-2020, Ukraine has hosted 2,218 recognized refugees and persons with subsidiary protection and about 2,300 asylum seekers. The population is very diverse, including people from 60 countries. The population includes a disproportionate number of single men in working age.

How many Ukrainian refugees are there in Russia?

In November 2017, more than 420,000 asylum seekers from Ukraine registered in Russia.

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