A warm welcome to Afghan refugees making Albany their new home

Local

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The City of Albany has a history of welcoming refugees. Some who have recently had to flee Afghanistan, are now making the city their new home.

“We have already seen a number of families that have arrived,” said Mayor Kathy Sheehan. “We have approximately 60 that are already here and 40 that are in the process of coming here and are being relocated to our communities.”

Bishop Maginn, a small but diverse school in Albany, is getting ready to greet new refugee students. “We can’t wait until they get settled and they can be with us and be a part of our family,” explained Sue Silverstein, Director of Campus Ministry and Community Service.

To help make their transition a little easier, students are helping to provide a warm welcome, by making quilts for families who came to America with no belongings of their own. “It’s the best feeling in the world knowing you can help out when people are in need. I was kinda like that. I was the refugee and now I’m helping back,” said Hserney Taw, a student at Bishop Maginn. “It means a lot.”

The school is also providing everyday items such as coats and cleaning supplies to the refugees, thanks to donations made by alumni and the Army of Good from across the country.

“I think what those students are doing, you know the quilts, it’s not only providing somebody with warmth, but it’s providing them with a welcome and helping to ensure and make sure that people who are coming here under really challenging circumstances—some have seen the horrors of war, have lost family members. It sends a message that they are in a community that cares, so I think it’s so great and heartwarming that they are doing that,” said Sheehan.

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