MUNCIE — As "Operation Allies Welcome" came to a close at Camp Atterbury in January, it was learned that more than 7,000 Afghan evacuees resettled in 45 states.
Indiana made it in the top ten of those destinations.
Officials noted around 700 evacuees from Camp Atterbury and beyond decided to call the Hoosier state home. In Muncie, more than 100 new neighbors joined the community.
“This is not a short-term thing. They will need help for a long time,” said Bibi Bahrami, the chairwoman for Muncie Afghan Refugee Resettlement Committee.
MARRC helped the 33 families transition into their new lives in Delaware County.
“Our goal was the sooner we make these families independent, the better,” Bahrami said.
The organization provides various services for these families from housing to healthcare to employment. It also worked with Muncie Community Schools to welcome 65 Afghan evacuee children into the classroom, including pre-K students to high school seniors.
“So every family that came in we would look at the students and try to determine the best setting for that student and then we made that program available,” Muncie Community Schools CEO Lee Ann Kwiatkowski said.
Muncie schools said looking ahead, they are working to continue English services for these students throughout the summer.
Since starting last fall, MARRC has raised $300,000 to assist in providing services, according to Bahrami.
She told WRTV it needs more than $90,000 to continue helping families become self-sufficient. They are also looking for volunteers to assist in their services.