Rockingham Area Residents form RARR to Help Afghan Refugees

Some of the many members of RARR. Photo provided

ROCKINGHAM, Vt. – The humanitarian crisis that resulted from the sudden pull-out of U.S. troops from Afghanistan has inspired over 30 Bellows Falls area residents to form a group called Rockingham Area Refugee Resettlement, or RARR. Its mission is to aid those Afghan allies who helped our troops during our long war there. In order to streamline organizational requirements, the effort is allied closely with the long-standing refugee group ECDC out of Brattleboro.
Many Afghan refugee families have been in the custody of the U.S. government since the fall of Kabul and have been housed in military bases across the country. They have been studying English and receiving medical screening and other kinds of orientation. Now the U.S. government has allotted some families for resettlement across the country, including Vermont. That is where RARR steps in. RARR is locating apartments for rent, household goods and furniture, clothing, children’s items, and all manner of aid and support to ease the refugees’ transition from their life of terror in a war torn country to the peace and safely of beautiful Vermont. Many of these refugees left with just the clothing on their backs.
We are looking forward to supporting the first couple to come to Bellows Falls at the beginning of March and hope that more refugees will follow them. RARR will endeavor to integrate these individuals into our community and we hope they will be able to fill some of the many open jobs that exist. All of the refugees bring valuable skills to the area.
If you would like to get occasional updates on this project, please contact Lyn Parker Haas at lhaas@sover.net to get on the distribution list.

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