Local organization looking for donations, support for Afghan refugees

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SAN DIEGO – A local organization needs the community’s help to support incoming Afghan refugees amid the crisis in their home country.

Amna Sanctuary has worked for the last year to support refugees even before the turmoil in Afghanistan, but now with more people arriving in San Diego, a lot of help is needed.

“In Arabic “amna” means safe,” Dr. Rasha Roshdy said.

Roshdy founded Amna Sanctuary during 2020 as a way to bridge the technology gap for refugees trying to learn and settle into American life. She helped families primarily from Afghanistan and Syria gain access to laptops and internet access.

“You know we went from one need to the next need and it just grew,” she said.

Roshdy never imagined the situation that would be unfolding currently in Afghanistan. Roshdy’s organization had already been assisting 34 families and four new families arrived in just the last week. She has no way of knowing how many more relatives may be on their way from Afghanistan.

“So they’re there living as 18 individuals in a two bedroom apartments,” Roshdy said. “They’re happy and grateful that they got out safe, but they’re sleeping on the floor. We’re trying to find a way to get them to be more comfortable.”

Refugees already living in San Diego don’t have the resources to cover the essentials needed for themselves and also their relatives.

The organization is now looking for food, hygiene products, air mattresses and even furniture. Amna Sanctuary is hoping the community can contribute by taking a look at its Amazon wish list with items at variety of price points that will go straight to the refugees.

In addition to physical items, Roshdy is also looking to get families set up with counseling.

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