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Marin County Assisting Afghan Resettlement Efforts

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Erwin Franzen
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Flickr / Creative Commons

Marin County residents are increasing their efforts to assist in Bay Area-wide preparations to receive Afghanistan’s refugees.

Asma Eschen, treasurer of Afghans4Tomorrow, is coordinating efforts to provide shelter and basic needs for the new arrivals in San Rafael and southern Marin County.

Eschen is working with non-profit groups, such as the Afghan Coalition, to concentrate aid in areas such as Fremont and Hayward, where there are significant population of Afghans. Some Afghan refugees may end up settling with family and friends in other Afghan expatriate communities in the East Bay and Sacramento.

Eschen is working through First Presbyterian Church San Anselmo. The church has participated in aid initiatives in Afghanistan during the last 20 years.

Church members are working with Eschen to collect supplies from neighbors for the Afghan newcomers, such as long-sleeved shirts and scarves.

Marita Mayor, a member of the church, said the other members are making calls to Rep. Jared Huffman’s office for support and collecting cash donations from fellow congregants.

Mayor also is talking with potential volunteers throughout Marin, mainly in San Rafael and San Anselmo, to see if they have additional space to house or financially sponsor some of the Afghans.

Rona Popal, the executive director of the Afghan Coalition, told the Marin Independent Journal that her non-profit hopes to find housing for potentially hundreds of Afghan refugees in the Bay Area.

Although local aid efforts are mobilizing for those who make it out of the country, Popal said she is worried about many other people who won’t be able to leave.