Current Events in Afghanistan: What can Chapter Leaders do to Help?
SVA Chapters and Chapter Leaders have a long history of stepping up to support their local communities. There will be a tremendous need to support, welcome, and help resettle the tens of thousands of Afghan allies and refugees coming to America. Below we’ve provided some of the resources available for official information on refugee resettlement, mental health resources, and ways to help organizations leading resettlement efforts.
Know the official sources of information on SIVs and resettlement.
The State Department is the best source of official information on how resettlement will work. There are many pages with supporting information on refugee resettlement, here are a few worth reading:
- Afghanistan Inquiries
- Refugee Reception and Placement
- Application and Case Processing
- About Refugee Admissions
The International Refugee Project is maintaining a list of legal resources for Afghans as well.
Partner with non-profit organizations aiding in refugee resettlement or specific refugee advocacy.
There are hundreds of organizations ready to help Afghan refugees resettle and it is critical to ensure the organizations reaching out for aid or organizations your Chapter is considering aiding are valid, recognizable organizations. The following is not an exhaustive list, but a sample of organizations. We will update this list as more formal efforts to compile non-profits working with refugees are finalized.
Share mental health resources.
Many in our community are understandably experiencing stress and anxiety related to the US withdrawal in Afghanistan. There are resources to help.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the Veterans Crisis Line:
1-800-273-8255, then PRESS 1.
In addition to mental health resources specific to individual campuses, there are several other resources available for veterans as well. This is not an exhaustive list, but a sample of resources here to help:
- VA Resources on Coping with Afghanistan
- VA Mental Health Resources
- VA Vet Centers
- Cohen Veterans Network
- Wounded Warrior Project Mental Health Resources
What is SVA’s National Headquarters doing?
Student Veterans of America has stood alongside a coalition of veterans’ organizations calling for the safe evacuation of our Afghan allies since the Spring. Since then, SVA has continued to engage with other veteran and military organizations and the Administration on the need to ensure safe evacuations for all who served alongside our troops. We continue to engage daily on the issue and will do so until all options and time to evacuate are exhausted.
This week, we continued our call on President Biden and Congress to do all that is necessary to safely evacuate all Afghan allies and refugees through joint letters with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA).
- You can read our most recent letter to President Biden here.
- You can read our most recent letter to Congressional leadership here.
Our work will not stop when the US withdrawal is complete. As a veteran organization comprised of many Post-9/11 veterans, SVA is committed to welcoming and supporting our Afghan allies and refugees once they arrive in America.