Afghan refugees relocate to San Diego with help from community


SAN DIEGO — The East County community quickly stepped up to help a family of refugees from Afghanistan who relocated to the San Diego area.

The family of seven shared with FOX 5 what led them to flee their home country.

“Taliban is coming. No good, now everything is different,” a family member told FOX 5. “When I come here, I lucky, I too much better here.”

The father of five says he worked for the U.S. Army, serving food to soldiers for 18 years. Because of his assistance to the U.S., he says there is a Taliban kill order on his head.

The refugee, who we’re not identifying for security reasons, still has family members back in Afghanistan. Despite the ongoing threat to his family, he can breathe a little easier watching his kids play in El Cajon.

“Yes yes, my kids are safe here. For now, I am now happy here, because everything is good here,” the refugee said.

When they got to the U.S., they arrived to an empty apartment. But that quickly changed with donations from the community.

Dan Collins with the New Neighbor Relief group said when they shared word refugees were headed to San Diego, the support quickly poured in.

“When I posted a picture of this family to the women that are helping and they put it out on social media, we got flooded with donations,” Collins said.

Four truckloads of goods — from beds, furniture, clothes, and food — filled the apartment, helping it to feel a bit more like home.

“They are so happy to be here. The thing that surprised them the most is that the kids went outside at about 7 or 8 at night and there were other kids outside playing. That is foreign to them,” Collins said.

Many more refugees will be coming to the greater San Diego area in the weeks to come. The family of seven said they are now focused on learning English, getting a car and learning to drive.

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