Virginia Tech student creates GoFundMe account to help family attempting to leave Afghanistan

New River Valley News

BLACKSBURG, Va. (WFXR)– There are just a few days left until the deadline to withdraw troops from Afghanistan arrives.

However, there is growing concern that the United States will not be able to get everyone evacuated in time. Many people here in the Commonwealth are worried that their loved ones will not get the chance to leave.

Virginia Tech student Mariam Farzayee says she is doing everything she can to raise awareness and help evacuees find safe homes.

“People need to understand how severe the situation is. It’s a terrorist organization that took over an entire country that has so much untapped unnatural resources,” said Farzayee.

(Photo: Courtesy Mariam Farzayee)

She says she has one family friend who she is trying to help those affected get on a plane to evacuate the city, but the Taliban is making it difficult.

“The airport is a whole other issue, the Taliban has multiple checkpoints, and they are looking for people trying to leave by ripping up their papers and stuff, and hurting them. My cousin told me some of her family members got beaten up at the airport, and they had the proper documents and everything,” said Farzayee, who is also the President of the Afghanistan Association on Virginia Tech’s campus.

By creating a GoFundMe page, she is trying to bring some of those families to Virginia.

Farzayee tells WFXR News that she is speaking with one Roanoke organization to help find suitable housing for the refugees.

According to Katrina Powell — Director of the Center for Refugee, Migrant, and Displacement Studies at Virginia Tech — resettlement efforts are essential.

“Anyone who has been resettled because they are fearful of their lives and children’s lives they are experiencing a lot of trauma,” said Powell.

Powell says there is an ethical decision around where a refugee gets placed. Location and culture matter, because when families arrive they will have a community of people that they can talk to in their language of origin.

However, Powell says the process to transition any refugee into America can be a long process. Once they arrive, officials work with various organizations throughout the United States to help the refugees find housing, food, clothes, schooling, and more.

According to Farzayee, the goal of the GoFundMe page is to get her family to the United States. She says that many of the family members she is helping started out with nothing.

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