Volume 1, Issue 10
October 12, 2022
Fresh Start Khabar
Khabar, "news" in Farsi, is Fresh Start's monthly newsletter.

Your generosity has given Fresh Start the ability to help families with direct resettlement efforts, employment search, and skill building initiatives. Thank you for the support that has made this possible! We hope to continue these efforts as we strive to develop and implement more programs with our partners for the evolving resettlement needs of Afghan families. Whether you can help with linguistic needs, create resumes, line up jobs, or provide transportation, Fresh Start needs you! Visit our website and sign up to become a volunteer.
One Year Reflections

It has been more than one year since the fall of Kabul and Operation Allies Welcome was initiated for the safe evacuation of Afghan refugees. Fresh Start is honored to have served the community. As a team, in collaboration with volunteers, we have impacted the lives of hundreds of individuals through emergency resettlement efforts and goal-driven programs. In this issue, we will be highlighting some of our accomplishments and success stories from this past year. Fresh Start promises to continue working hard for the community and to advocate for the most vulnerable.

In partnership with Love NOVA and NoVA RAFT, our RTI Program has been helping our Afghan neighbors learn how to drive and obtain their driver's licenses.

Total served: 109
Women served: 49
Services provided:
Driving practice: 31
Driver education: 77
Translation: 17
DMV support: 16
Car donation assistance: 2
Beginning this past May, the partners have conducted seven ESL classes, including Beginners, Elementary, and Pre-Intermediate classes. When the two current in-person ESL classes taught by Fresh Start and NoVA RAFT instructors conclude on November 15, the partners will have delivered 334 hours of instruction to seventy students.
ESL Classes
In collaboration with Nova RAFT and the City of Alexandria, the in-person ESL program was created to help our new Afghan neighbors learn English and equip them with the necessary skills needed to obtain jobs- a critical part of helping individuals become self-sufficient and independent. This program has been a success but we are always looking for volunteers who can spend an hour of their time conversing with our students to improve their English skills. Link to sign up is below.
RISE, a mentorship program created to support individuals with English language needs and skills building has over 15 students paired up with mentors from around the world. Lessons are held once or twice a week and each session is focused on the student's needs which vary from conversational practice to writing skills and grammar. The plan is to expand the program to include 15 more students this fall with new volunteers. Fresh Start donates desktop computers for RISE participants to ensure success for our students. Please be sure to sign up to volunteer, this is an easy way to build connections and offer assistance from the comfort of your home.
In partnership with Operation Code, through Project Rebuild, Afghan refugees have free access to IT virtual training, one-on-one mentorship, job search, and IT certification programs that will help them kick-start their careers in the tech field and obtain high-earning jobs.

Nine participants from the Spring 2022 cohort will be graduating at the end of this month. The participants have earned between 1-4 certificates each.

Operation Code is in the process of interviewing for their second cohort for Project Rebuild, starting in January.
Fresh Start case aides provided support to over 1,300 Afghan refugees applying for asylum. Our team was involved in 12 two-day workshops hosted by a local resettlement agency assisting Afghan refugees who are here in the US on temporary parole status. Hundreds of clients are already receiving interviews and moving on to the next step of obtaining legal.

Additionally, our team helped hundreds of Afghans obtain social service benefits, housing and home-set ups, assisted with transportation and referrals to partner organizations and an Eid toy donation drive for 200+ refugee children.
Fresh Start co-hosted a moral boosting social event in Maryland for over 200 newly arrived Afghan families which included entertaining activities for children such as face painting, arts and crafts, and various other social activities.

At the Eid Picnic this past summer, over 300 attendees enjoyed delicious food, face painting, henna art, good music & traditional Afghan dance, the Attan; ending the evening with a friendly game of competitive soccer.
Fresh Start held a back to school event to kick off the 2022-2023 school year. Over 200 participants attended. There was pizza, team-building games, and even a moon bounce. Thanks to our generous donors, we gave out school supplies including backpacks, notebooks, pens and pencils, and art supplies to over 250 overjoyed children.
Fresh Start held a booth celebrating the Persian New Year, Nowrooz, a successful event held by local non-profit, ARYF. We served "Haft-Maywa" a traditional new years desert and offered henna art.
In collaboration with churches, congregations and other communities, Fresh Start helped collect in-kind donations, coordinate, and set up home furnishing for resettling Afghans. 

Together, with members of the Congregation Etz Hayim, we showered a family with a newborn baby gifts and enjoyed traditional Afghan tea, pastries and desserts. 

Over 100 bags of non-perishable food items were donated by a local church's congregation and it's provided grocery for over 30 families.
To celebrate mother's day and Eid, Fresh Start donated toys and gift cards to families.
Fresh Start would like to thank all of our volunteers and supporters. It's with your kindness and your generosity that we have been able to accomplish so much this past year.
Afghan Adjustment Act
Advocates from across the country participated in a "fire watch" in front of the Capitol building to advocate for congress to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act. The AAA will allow Afghan Allies to obtain permanent legal status in their new home, United States, and be given the opportunity to rebuild their lives. the Firewatch will be restarted in November. The peaceful protest was organized by the Afghan American Foundation and was held for two weeks around the clock.
Calling all Interns!
Fresh Start Refugee Assistance Center is expanding.
We are looking for interns to join our communications and social media team. Interested candidates can send us a message using the link on our website.
Please consider donating to Fresh Start Refugee Assistance Center