Our community is fortunate to have social service agencies experienced with resettling immigrant families, yet the scope of the challenge facing those charged with resettling thousands of Afghan refugees is enormous. In addition, Muslims in Chicago recognize the gravity of the problem and wish to assist these families in need.
CIOGC invited member and nonmember organizations to form a task force, charged with galvanizing the efforts of this diverse group of volunteers and to assist other agencies in meeting the needs of Afghan families.
The task force is led by Suzanne Akhras Sahloul, a CIOGC board member and the executive director of Syrian Community Network, a refugee relief agency. She is joined by community leaders of member and nonmember organizations, each bringing needed expertise in areas like healthcare, social work, and religious services.
The task force focuses on four areas: advocacy, religious services, legal assistance, and life sustaining needs, such as housing, food assistance, and the special needs of unaccompanied minors. The Task Force has collaborated with experts to provide cultural competency training for the staff of agencies assisting Afghan refugees. Through the Task Force’s network of partners translation services have been provided.
The Task Force has been instrumental in arranging prayer services, including Jummah, as well as providing them familiar Afghan-based meals, housing assistance, medical care, and employment opportunities. The task force has facilitated the provision of additional interpreters to assist resettlement agencies, and it has made arrangements for religious services in local mosques for the Afghan families.
The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago has media staff available to handle inquiries from journalists. For more information please send an email [email protected].
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To assist in housing, please fill out the form
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To volunteer in tasks related to Afghan resettlement, please fill out the form