Bay Area organizations and universities step up efforts to bring Afghan refugees to the United States

Halima Kazen-Stojanovic, born in Kabul and raised in San José, has spent more than a decade working in Afghanistan, training academics and making friends with Afghan journalists and activists.

Now she is helping them continue their work in the United States.

“The calls keep coming, every day,” said Kazezn-Stojanovic, senior faculty member at the Institute of Human Rights at San Jose State University and professor in the journalism department. of the University. “I get dozens and dozens of messages from concerned Afghans. But now we can tell them that we have something in place that we hope we can help you with.”

She refers to the network of more than 15 colleges and universities that she has brought together to sponsor Afghan academics, academics, activists and journalists and get them to teach at universities in the United States.

The UC Berkeley Human Rights Center and UC Santa Cruz are also involved in sponsorship efforts.

By Sunday evening, UC Berkeley and SJSU had funded $ 107,413. The fundraiser was launched a few days ago.

The money is used to pay for flights, visas and support when Afghans arrive in the United States.

“We are trying to help them come here and do the work that they have been doing, and be able to share that knowledge. The J1 foreign student visa is one route we can take,” Kazen-Stojanovic said.

Jewish Family and Community Services of the East Bay, an organization with a long history of resettling refugees from around the world, is also seeing an increase in demand for resettlement services.

In August alone, the agency welcomed 46 Afghan refugees. He is working to support 74 others who are still on their way to the Bay Area.

The number of refugees they are helping is growing day by day, as are donations to the organization’s Amazon wishlist.

According to Holly Taines White, senior director of community development and engagement at Jewish Family and Community Services East Bay, nearly 1,500 volunteer applications arrived at JFCS East Bay last week.

“The outpouring has been just huge,” White said. “Warming and moving.”

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