new Jersey , 11,000 Afghan refugees are being temporarily held at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst in central New Jersey. The military base is one of 7 and the largest housing Afghan refugees across the country.
40% of the refugees on Aadhaar are children under the age of 14.
On Thursday, Granthshala 5 News was granted access to Liberty Village at the base. It is made up of three villages. Reporters saw children attending English classes, their temporary urgent care center, a pediatric office, an on-site pharmacy, and other medical clinics that are staffed with 150 providers and 200 nurses.
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There is also a playground and a dining area which is open round the clock.
Village Three has 19 tents. Each tent holds approximately 515 people.
“We help them understand what new benchmarks they’re going to face in America,” Air Force Staff Sergeant Javad Javid said.
Refugees are learning to live in America, including learning English to understand American currency.
Basic necessities such as food and clothing are provided to all Afghans at the base. There are also legal resources on the site.
As they arrive at the base, the military says the refugees undergo extensive health checks. Officials say everyone eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine has received at least one dose.
Sana Khairi is 18 years old. She reached the base in October with her mother and 4 other family members. She is a writer and artist.
One of his works is the simultaneous depiction of the American and Afghan flags. She says it shows the help America is giving her and her people.
Through a translator, he said, “The last 47 days have been extraordinary.”
Khairi says that she has big dreams now. One of these is to become a successful doctor here in America.
“Like any other Afghan girl, I have a dream book in my head,” says Khairi.
Silen Husseinzada, 25, arrived at the base on 8 September. He was evacuated from Kabul by the US Air Force.
She was the only person in her family who was able to escape from Afghanistan. She says that leaving them all behind has been the hardest thing.
“It’s very hard mentally when you feel like you’re safe here and you don’t have a family so it’s the hardest part,” Hussainzada said.
She says she suffers from depression, but keeps herself busy as a volunteer English teacher and translator at Liberty Village.
Her rehabilitation process is complete and she will soon be leaving Liberty Village to start a new life in Ohio.
Meanwhile, officials say a new group of refugees are expected to arrive at the military base on Sunday.
The goal is to have everyone resettled by February 2022, but officials told Granthshala 5 News it could take longer.