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Home » Refugee advocates name for Silicon Valley to “leverage the expertise”

Refugee advocates name for Silicon Valley to “leverage the expertise”

Hundreds of Afghan refugees are anticipated to resettle in america within the coming months and America’s greatest tech corporations have donated thousands and thousands to nonprofit organizations supporting the resettlement efforts. However refugee advocates say they need the assist from the tech sector to proceed as soon as the refugees are safely settled of their new properties.  

A glance inside Ramstein Air Power Base in Germany the place hundreds of Afghan refugees await processing



“The tech sector has been very seen of their assist and I hope that can lend to each firm that we work with being comfy and wise about their assist of not IRC essentially however the purchasers that we’re serving,” stated Lauren Grey, who oversees company partnerships on the Worldwide Rescue Committee.


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The IRC, which has obtained contributions from Google, Fb and Uber to assist Afghan refugees, is one in every of 9 resettlement companies within the nation. It has delivered help in Afghanistan for 3 many years and final yr reached a million Afghans with emergency assist. It additionally works with greater than 1 / 4 of all Particular Immigration Visa arrivals within the U.S.

Grey praised the groundswell of assist from tech corporations and its workers who’ve reached out to assist however confused that making certain “the longevity of the response” can be crucial to the success of Afghan refugees.

“The method is actually simply beginning now for Afghans who’re arriving within the U.S.,” Grey stated.

a group of people waiting to board a bus: DULLES, VIRGINIA - AUGUST 31: Workers with the U.S. State Department guide refugees to board a bus at Dulles International Airport that will take them to a refugee processing center after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan on August 31, 2021 in Dulles, Virginia. The Department of Defense announced yesterday that the U.S. military had completed its withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending 20 years of war. / Credit: / Getty Images

© Supplied by CBS Information
DULLES, VIRGINIA – AUGUST 31: Employees with the U.S. State Division information refugees to board a bus at Dulles Worldwide Airport that can take them to a refugee processing middle after being evacuated from Kabul following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan on August 31, 2021 in Dulles, Virginia. The Division of Protection introduced yesterday that the U.S. navy had accomplished its withdrawal from Afghanistan, ending 20 years of conflict. / Credit score: / Getty Pictures

Final month greater than 3,100 Afghans with authorised SIVs arrived in America, in accordance with newly launched authorities knowledge. For the reason that evacuation efforts started, the most important tech corporations have donated thousands and thousands to nonprofit organizations supporting the resettlement efforts.

Google, Fb and Uber have pledged to donate a mixed $10 million to giant non-profits just like the Worldwide Rescue Committee and the Committee to Defend Journalists, in addition to smaller grassroots organizations like Girls for Afghan Girls and No One Left Behind.

Fb COO Sheryl Sandberg has targeted on supporting Afghan ladies. In late August, Sandberg raised almost $140,000 as a part of her birthday fundraiser on Fb and donated $1 million from her private funds to the Worldwide Rescue Committee.

Final week, Sandberg hosted Instagram reside interviews with refugee advocates and is encouraging others to assist a fundraiser launched by a well-liked Afghan restaurant in Washington, D.C. Fb, which evacuated its workers and shut companions from Kabul in August, additionally assisted a bunch of Afghan journalists and their households escape the Taliban, an organization spokesperson instructed CBS Information.

AirBnb, which pledged in late August to deal with 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide by way of its nonprofit arm, instructed CBS Information it has positioned almost 300 Afghan refugees into non permanent housing throughout the U.S. as of final week.

Uber stated it is translating its Driver App and key assist pages into Dari and Pashto – the 2 essential languages for Afghans – and launching a devoted telephone assist line in these languages to ease the onboarding course of for Afghan refugees that wish to work on the platform.

Based on a 2020 survey from No One Left Behind, a nonprofit group devoted to serving to Afghan translators with Particular Immigrant Visas (SIV), greater than a 3rd of recipients of these visas stated they work with a ridesharing service within the U.S.

Uber reactivated a donation button on its app that permits riders to chip in. To this point, the hassle has raised over $920,000 for Afghan refugees. The corporate stated it plans to match donations as much as $1 million.

Uber has additionally been offering nonprofits with credit at no cost rides and meals by way of UberEats. James Miervaldis, board chairman at No One Left Behind, stated Uber gave the group over $100,000 in credit for rides and meals. Nawa Lodin, chair of the affiliate board at Girls for Afghan Girls additionally confirmed the group is receiving comparable assist from Uber.

Lodin stated the assist from Uber is assembly an “speedy want” as a result of the refugees arriving at Dulles Worldwide Airport exterior of Washington D.C., haven’t got one other technique to get to the processing facility at Fort Lee navy base in central Virginia. Different households need assistance with transportation to the important appointments like getting a drivers license, signing up children for varsity, and assembly with social staff.

As households start to settle in, Miervaldis stated he is anticipating an amazing variety of requests for assist from refugees in early 2022 as a result of most SIV recipients get authorities help for about six months – “then they’re on their very own,” he stated.

Lodin stated she’d prefer to see the tech sector assist Afghan refugees in the long term by way of job placement applications and profession improvement workshops. “Assist from the tech sector is essential as a result of they’re alleged to be the innovators, the sport changers, and that’s what refugees want proper now,” Lodin stated.

She defined that Afghan refugees arriving with school levels and fluency in English do not wish to depend on authorities welfare. “Those who had been working professionals in Afghanistan, to come back right here and never have an expert job hurts loads,” Lodin stated. “It is the identical cycle of refugees coming to America which are docs and professors they usually cannot discover skilled work.”

Lodin stated money donations are offering speedy assist however implored leaders in Silicon Valley to “leverage the expertise they’ve created” to assist refugees with long run, career-orientated applications.

“We have already left so many individuals behind, people who risked their lives for this nation which are nonetheless there,” Lodin stated. “So, we will not simply neglect in regards to the Afghans that we introduced right here,” she added.

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