Afghan Refugee Family Support
The Khan family, which we welcomed to our Rhinebeck community in February of 2022, consists of Razia and Gulab Khan and their four young children. Their move here came in response to the United States government’s request for communities to help with the rescue of Afghan citizens who had been associated with the U.S. during the war and were therefore in danger of retribution from the new Taliban government. The Khan’s successful resettlement in Rhinebeck was accomplished through sponsorship by the Church of Messiah and the Rotary Club, along with the help of other concerned community members and initial guidance from the International Rescue Committee.
We have been impressed with everything the family has accomplished in less than two years. Both parents are employed (Razia part-time), and they manage to juggle two different work schedules along with transportation for their children’s after-school activities, birthday parties, and medical appointments. The three school-aged children mastered English quickly with the gentle support of the teachers and staff at Rhinebeck’s Chancellor Livingston School, the Rhinebeck Community Nursery School, and Rhinebeck’s Summer Rec. Program. Gulab, who already knew basic English when he came here, has now passed his citizenship test; and Razia, who had started studying English in Afghanistan, continues to work on her fluency with lessons at home and online. With steady support from Messiah’s volunteers, the Khan family has quickly accomplished so much!
Of course, with limited income, finances remain a concern. In particular, the wonderful programs available in the Rhinebeck schools routinely require school supplies, personal computers, instrument rentals, equipment and extra fees. Having come from a family where education is denied to many children, especially girls, the parents are thrilled with the opportunities open to Rhinebeck children and want to provide those opportunities for their own children. We want to help them do so.
The Khan home is a place of love and laughter. The parents are exceedingly proud of the academic success of their children and the motivation they have demonstrated. The children are friendly, cheerful, and confident in the love of their parents. We admire how Gulab and Razia have managed successful parenting in a new culture and with a new language. Now, as they celebrate being here with us, their greatest concern is the struggling family they had to leave behind.
The Church of the Messiah and the Rotary Club of Rhinebeck are committed to supporting the family until they can be completely independent. We hope to raise the funds necessary for that support from the wider community. If you would like to make a financial donation to support housing and care for this wonderful family, please DONATE ONLINE HERE or send your check made out to the Church of the Messiah, memo’ed “Afghan family support” and mailed to the church at P.O. Box 248, Rhinebeck, NY 12572. Both online and donations by check should be noted as support for the Afghan family.
Our community has always been very generous and we hope you will consider a donation to help this family build a new life here in Rhinebeck.
Fr. Richard McKeon