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The Afghan Refugee Accompaniment (ARA) Program

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Wednesday, September 04, 2019 - 4:00 PM
 
 
 
 
The Afghan Refugee Accompaniment (ARA) Program 
 
A Collaborative Project of the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies at the University of Maryland (Roshan-UMD) and the International Rescue Committee (IRC) 
The Afghan Refugee Accompaniment (ARA) Program brings together University of Maryland Persian Studies students and local Afghan refugees for a mutually beneficial service learning experience.  
 
Afghan refugees are currently the largest refugee population in the DMV area served by IRC. While making the difficult adjustment to life in a new country they frequently struggle with a variety of problems, including social isolation/integration into the community, developing English language skills, and learning about local community resources and American culture. 
 
UMD students chosen to participate in the ARA Program as ARA interns help our new Afghan neighbors during their transition into their new life in America while themselves benefiting from the opportunity to learn more about Afghan Persian culture and practice their Persian language skills. ARA interns also receive training in refugee care from the IRC and additional training in Afghan culture and Dari (Persian) from Roshan-UMD faculty. 
 
The ARA program is structured around monthly community events (involving all participants in the ARA Program) and more flexible weekly meetings designed around the needs of each specific Afghan family (the five members of each team share responsibility for these weekly meetings). ARA Program interns can also separately volunteer to do “airport welcomes” for newly arriving Afghan refugee families and help them set up their apartments.  
 
If you are interested in participating in the ARA Program, please attend the information session on Thursday, August 30th at 5pm in the Roshan Institute for Persian Studies 
(JMZ 1220) or contact the ARA Program director, Matthew Miller