LSU helps Afghan refugees rebuild their lives

More than a year after the Taliban takeover, people of Afghanistan are still finding their places in America.
Published: Oct. 19, 2022 at 7:13 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - More than a year after the Taliban takeover, the people of Afghanistan are still finding their places in America.

There are numerous reports of people suffering and some families are now seeking refuge in Louisiana.

“They just packed all their life in a suitcase, and they just came to the United States and left everything behind,” said Jay, an Afghan refugee.

“Jay” has found his place in the Capital City after being forced to flee his country last September. “Jay” is a pseudonym. He requested his full name not be used for his safety and that of his family.

“We couldn’t get inside the airport and then I was evacuated but my family they are still there in Afghanistan. They are really suffering,” added Jay.

He is constantly worried about his family and the people that are left behind.

LSU’s dining team has reportedly hired several Afghan refugees searching for employment. Rhonda Johnson, the director of operations for the dining team, said the program is giving people hope.

“To give people a sense of pride and being able to work and to be able to share our knowledge of the industry and get them to a place where they’ll be able to take it and move on,” said Johnson.

As a former caseworker and translator for Catholic Charities in Baton Rouge, “Jay” knows all too well the struggles refugees face.

“Life is much easier for me here compared to those. They have the language barrier and they don’t have the skills and they never worked for the government or international organizations,” explained “Jay.”

Johnson added the goal is to get refugees reunited with their families.

“A lot of them were in a bad place mentally when they came to see us and to see them able to smile and walk around with their head up was a good thing,” noted Johnson.

According to “Jay,” several people that have since moved on from the program reunited with their families.

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