REACT DC Expands Efforts to Help Afghan Refugees; Calls for Passage of
Afghan Adjustment Act

Apr 18, 2022

Non-Profit Organizations Announces Hire of Five Afghans To Lead Operations and Employment
Initiatives

Alexandria, VA (April 14, 2022)— REACT DC, a non-profit organization providing resettlement
assistance for recently arrived refugees, today announced the expansion of its efforts to help Afghan refugees in the United States with the hire of five recently arrived Afghans, including one into a key leadership position. Additionally, REACT DC is calling on Congress to pass the Afghan Adjustment Act to help the thousands of displaced Afghans in need.

“Since the United States military left Afghanistan last August, there have been more than 80,000 Afghan refugees who have arrived in this country and their journey is far from over,” said Amy Marden, CEO, REACT DC. “These refugees still need help in resettling here and achieving self-sufficiency, which includes help finding employment or housing, as financial support winds down between three and six months after arrival in a community.”

As part of its efforts to help refugees resettle, REACT DC has made five new hires of Afghans: Abdul Sami Ahmadi as Director of Programs, and Hameedullah Parwana, Abdul Hasib Dellawar, Zia Ul Islam Shiwa, and Sayed Sameh as Case Aides.

Ahmadi joins REACT DC after working with USAID (United States Agency for International
Development) for 15 years and has managed projects for Child Fund International and the International Organization for Migration.

Parwana, Dellawar, Shiwa, and Sameh have 74 years combined experience working for coalition forces and NGOs in public health administration, program management, procurement, community mobilization, and translation. Their roles with REACT DC directly augment Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service efforts to assist Afghan refugees who independently departed US safe havens without support or benefits.

“We are thrilled to welcome Sami, Hameed, Hasib, Zia, and Sayed,” said Marden. “There is so much critical work that we are focused on in the coming months, particularly when it comes to employment and finding jobs for Afghans while traversing the cultural differences of living in a new country. The experiences of these extraordinary individuals will allow us to better connect with refugees and find a sustainable future for them.”

In March, REACT DC joined a broad coalition of veteran service organizations and Afghan-American organizations to advocate passage of the Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA), which allows certain Afghan evacuees to apply for permanent status after one year of being paroled into the country. The legislation would relieve the immediate burden on the SIV (special immigrant visa-holders) process and the asylum process, both of which have hundreds of thousands of total cases in their backlog.

“REACT DC is calling on Congress to ensure all refugees are welcome here, without discrimination,” said Marden. “We urge the Biden administration to continue the evacuation and peaceful settlement of as many at-risk Afghans as possible. There has been great progress made since August, but there is much more work left to do, and these people cannot be forgotten now that they are here.”

To learn more about REACT DC and how to get involved, please visit www.reactdc.org.