“Do not mistreat foreigners who are living in your land. Treat them as you would an Israelite and love them as you love yourselves. Remember that you were once foreigners in the land of Egypt. I am the Lord your God.” Leviticus 19:33-34
A group of PCM members met on Monday, January 16 with Paul Pazniokas, the Family Coordinator from Refugee Assistance Morris Partners (RAMP), to share how we can help an Afghan family new to our area adapt to life in New Jersey. After a harrowing year in refugee settlement areas in both Dubai and Elizabeth, NJ, the family have moved to an apartment in Boonton, and now the real work of their integration into American life begins.
Our volunteer team is already working to drive the family to the grocery store, offer transportation and assistance with medical appointments, and to do other errands with them. There are long-term needs, like helping them learn English. Volunteers will pair up and visit the mom and dad to help with English in an informal and relaxed setting – so you don’t have to be a professional educator to do it. There are also short one-off assignments like helping the family navigate sign-ups for cell phone plans or get up to speed on local recycling rules.
If you’re interested in learning more about the family and our volunteer team, please reach out to Outreach member Tom Tignor (firstname.lastname@example.org), who has stepped forward to serve as our Family Team Liaison with RAMP.