Afghan refugee family adjusts to life in Yonkers
Thousands of Afghan refugees are living on military bases, waiting to start their lives in communities across the country.
News 12 is highlighting the placement of one of those families now starting a new chapter in the Hudson Valley.
Fifth-grader Saadat and her four siblings are adjusting to life in America in a cozy Yonkers apartment.
It's a drastic contrast to a life their family left behind.
Saadat and her family are refugees from Afghanistan.
They left their home country as it fell into chaos.
“It was just like a war, a war zone," says Saadat’s father, Rahim.
Back in August, News 12 showed images of families like Rahim's rushing to Kabul airport hoping to evacuate the country as U.S. troops withdrew.
As the Taliban quickly took control, Rahim says he had no choice but risk their lives to escape the country.
His life was in danger because his job, which included working with U.S. soldiers, put his family at risk.
Rahim's family was among the thousands airlifted to U.S. military bases where they connected with Hearts and Homes for Refugees..
Program director Amy Robertson says they’ve helped settle eight Afghan families in Westchester County since the mass evacuations in August.
"This is our way to say yes we do stand by the people who stood by us while we had our troops in Afghanistan," she says.
An estimated 8,000 Afghan refugees remain on American military bases waiting for placement.
"We need more volunteers. This is the key, everything we do is because of volunteers," says Robertson.
Those volunteers help Afghan children like Saadat begin a new chapter in a foreign country they now call home.