The Afghan diaspora resulting from fall of Kabul on August 15, 2021 and aftermath of war triggered painful memories of the Vietnam War and the fall of Saigon in 1975 for Vietnamese Americans in Washington State and on the VA NGO Board. These traumatized but determined volunteers launched the VietsforAfghans (V4A) grassroots effort which explored pathways to assist Afghan refugees who seek resettlement in the United States. The VA NGO Network was proud to partner with V4A and provide it fiscal management since its inception. Over the course of 9 months and with countless kind and incredible volunteers, we resettled 59 Afghan refugee families through funding and assistance from private community sponsorships. More details on this incredible effort can be found at https://www.vietsforafghans.org/. An executive summary and full capstone report by University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy & Governance master’s program student consultants was also published. In it MPA graduate students Elizabeth Kirk, Cacima Lee and Kenney Tran documents and analyzes our process closely in an effort to understand mutual aid in the 21st century.
The VA NGO Network is grateful for the opportunity to serve and learn with V4A and thankful for the countless donors, supporters, and volunteers who have made the work to resettle 59 Afghan refugee families possible.