Several local organizations are helping to care for the Afghan refugees who are coming to San Diego. One of the groups is Amna Sanctuary. It was founded by Imperial Beach resident Rasha Roshdy, Ed.D.
“It was very emotional to meet the families. They were jet-lagged they were tired exhausted,” said Roshdy after meeting recently arrived refugee families.
Currently, Amna Sanctuary is helping four Afghan families, but they are expecting that number to grow. Amna Sanctuary is collecting monetary donations. The group has also set up a wish list of items that Afghan families need to restart their lives in San Diego.
“They’re sleeping on cushions on the floor so we’re trying to get air mattresses for now. We’re trying to get couches because it’s not comfortable to sleep on the floor,” said Roshdy.
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"The family that just arrived they’re just happy that they’re here. They didn’t even mind that they were sleeping on the floor. They’re just happy and grateful that they’re here," said Roshdy.
Many people have bought hygiene supplies for refugees through Amna Sanctuary. Donors also leave kind comments, to remind Afghan families they are welcome in the U.S.
“Welcome to America. I cried happy tears when I read that,” said Roshdy.
Roshdy says refugee families are grateful to be in San Diego, but their homeland is never far from their minds.
“They’re worried about their families back home. They told me for the family back home, if they know they have relatives in the U.S. they become targets,” said Roshdy.
Besides basic supplies, Amna Sanctuary is planning to use monetary donations for counseling and English lessons.