People all across our region are coming together on Wednesday for events dedicated to the International Day of Peace. Tonight’s panel is on Afghan and Ukrainian refugees and what you can do to help.
“When I was packing my bags, I said like, okay, everything will be fine I’m just leaving for 3 weeks,” said Ukrainian refugee Mariia Isaieda.
“So, I came here on 18th of February just 6 days before the war started, with two kids,” finished Isaieda.
The international day of peace was established in 1981 by the united nations general assembly to designate the day as a period of non-violence and cease-fire. In honor of the day a panel was formed in Saratoga by the Saratoga immigration coalition to talk about how to help refugees enter America.
It turns out you can help too.
The Saratoga immigration council brought together several humanitarian aid groups to share their ideas on how the city could potentially become a home for refugees. According to the state, New York has received more than 14,000 Ukrainian refugees.
Another organization is also trying to resettle more than 400 Afghan refugees who fled after the US withdrawal last year. Organizers say it is about making Saratoga a safe space for those fleeing danger.
“Keeping the communication lines open finding out where the need is over here finding out here’s the potential helper over here and again that’s the main idea of this event is to bring people together so that we can continue that networking,” says terry Diggory, Co-coordinator of the Saratoga Immigration Coalition.
Networking that is working in our region.
“So, my wait ended here in Saratoga, and I found a lot of very kind people very supportive. I’m really glad that I found this very peaceful place and my kids they become more you know I come and more like normal,” says Isaieda.
Sara Lowry of legal services coordinator for us committee for refugees and immigrants (USCRI) told News10 that they have successfully relocated and helped over 400 Afghan and over 100 Ukrainians make the move. She says they still need help.
Lowry said, they are still looking for “Good Neighbor teams”. Lowry continues, “So, if you and a few people have a group that are looking to be a mentor, maybe help people drive them to medical appointments, be a patient navigator to help them understand what medical terminology means.”
According to the office for new Americans, most Ukrainian refugees have resettled in New York City, though about 275 have come to upstate counties as of August.
Organizers say the key to helping with this humanitarian crisis is for individuals and organizers to sponsor families.