In Support of the Afghan Community
The well-being of IUPUI's global community will always be our top priority, and we are committed to supporting our current Afghan community members and welcoming Afghan refugees as they transition to life in the United States. Following the deeply concerning fall of Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan, in August 2021, IUPUI, IU, and Hoosiers alike have been offering our support to our international students, scholars, and community affected by the crisis, as well as coordinating with local organizations to help support Afghan refugees to Indiana.
More recently, IUPUI has offered support by leading a group of students to volunteer with Exodus Refugee as part of the 2022 International Festival's Day of Service, joining Welcome.US' "Welcome Campus Network," and establishing the Taskforce on Refugee Community Support in January 2022 to assist with the influx of Afghan refugees as well as other existing and future refugee populations. The taskforce will consider how IUPUI can proactively build a stronger infrastructure for refugee students, scholars, families, and communities through managing timely and appropriate communications and outreach, navigating enrollment processes and current local and federal policies, and offering solutions to educational barriers, such as financial need and language training. The taskforce meets monthly.
Below, find resources for Afghan students and scholars, how we have offered and continue to offer support, as well as ways to learn more, get involved, and donate your time or money towards supporting these efforts. Thank you to our colleagues in the Office for Women for collecting some of these resources.*
Resources to support Afghan students and scholars
In addition to reaching out to OIA advisors for specific questions and assistance related to your status as an international student or scholar, the University of California-Davis has developed "Article 26 Backpack," a resource for storing academic or professional documents.
The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU), American Council on Education (ACE), Association of American Universities (AAU), and Institute for International Education (IEE) have put together a Resource Kit on hosting Afghan Students and Scholars.
The RESPONSE Campaign by the Higher Ed Immigration Portal includes a report and toolkit that outlines a path and provides recommendations for the United States to develop, implement, and sustain a university sponsorship program for refugee students.
The Institute of International Education (IIE) offers the Odyssey Scholarship, which provides a comprehensive scholarship package for student refugees and displaced individuals and covers tuition, housing, and living expenses for students pursuing four-year bachelor’s degrees or two-year master’s degrees.
Learn more and offer support
Local and National Organizations
Welcome.US consists of a welcoming council of coalitions, campuses, businesses, presenting sponsors, and welcome funders who all share the common goal of connecting, supporting – and, of course – welcoming Afghan refugees to the United States. Learn more about how you can become part of the movement.
“Exodus Refugee is dedicated to the protection of human rights by serving the resettlement needs of refugees and other displaced people fleeing persecution, injustice, and war by welcoming them to Indiana.” They are located in Indianapolis, Indiana, with a second location in Bloomington, Indiana coming soon.
Team Rubicon is a veteran-led cohort of volunteers who serve when and where they are needed, often after disaster and in times of crisis. Currently, Team Rubicon is supporting Afghan refugees by working closely with Welcome.US and local partnering organizations.
Catholic Charities, one of the authorized domestic resettlement agencies in Indiana, continues to help support Afghan refugees and through their Refugee and Immigrant Services program.
The Muslim Alliance of Indiana continues to offer support through their Afghan Refugee Task Force by collecting donations and soliciting volunteers.
“The Afghan American Foundation is a non-profit, non-partisan institution representing and advancing the interests of Afghan-American communities focused on civic, cultural, economic, and policy issues amongst the American public, policymakers, and opinion shapers.”
Afghanaid is a British humanitarian and development organization. For nearly forty years, their dedicated personnel have worked with millions of families in some of the poorest and most remote communities in Afghanistan. Currently, they are providing emergency assistance where needed and supporting families who have lost their homes and livelihoods.
A non-profit organization that works around the globe to save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice.
“An independent, global movement providing medical aid where it’s needed most.”
“The ICRC is an independent, neutral organization ensuring humanitarian protection and assistance for victims of armed conflict and other situations of violence. It takes action in response to emergencies and at the same time promotes respect for international humanitarian law and its implementation in national law.”
“The International Rescue Committee responds to the world's worst humanitarian crises, helping to restore health, safety, education, economic wellbeing and power to people devastated by conflict and disaster."
No One Left Behind is the leading national organization dedicated to ensuring that individual allies who worked with the United States in Iraq and Afghanistan are successful in relocating to the United States through the Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) program.
Miles4Migrants is a 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to using donated frequent flyer miles to help people impacted by war, persecution, or disaster start a new beginning in a new home.
“A community of welcomers using crowdsourcing and social media to connect people like you, who want to help, with families who are resettling in the United States as refugees.”
Save the Children is an international non-profit who are active in over 100 countries and were the world’s first international charity for children. They give children in the United States and around the world a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm.
UNHCR, the United Nations' agency for refugees, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights, and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities, and stateless people.
Organizations Serving Women and Girls
AWAKEN's mission is to improve access to education, provide healthcare services, create vocational opportunities, and ensure clean water and sanitation to enable Afghan women and families to become literate, healthy, and self-sufficient.
Women for Women International's global community invests in women survivors of war and conflict, providing them with social and economic skills to transform their lives. They are currently working to assist Afghan women most at risk, including women's right activisits, journalists, educators, civil society leaders, human rights defenders and direct service providers.
Women for Afghan Women has grown from a small network of volunteers to become the largest women’s organization in Afghanistan, who currently provides life-changing services, education, and vocational training for their clients across Afghanistan and in the United States.
*With thanks to colleagues in the 2006 Global Women Leaders for the World Cohort (now affiliated with How Women Lead) for assistance in compiling part of the list.
- IU, including IUPUI, reached out to current Afghan students and scholars to determine their safety in August 2021, and we continue to work to ensure that all members of our community receive the maximum support we can provide as a university.
- IU joined other higher education institutions in signing a letter sent to Secretary Blinken by Scholars at Risk in August 2021, urging the government to take immediate action to help save Afghanistan’s scholars, students, and civil society actors.
- IU, as a member of the American Council on Education, sent another letter in November 2021 to Secretary Blinken urging the US government to offer flexibility in determining non-immigrant intent for Afghan F-1 and J-1 visa holders and seekers.
- IU continues to work with multiple local, national, and international organizations to offer assistance to impacted scholars in Afghanistan, particularly those who have worked with IU on projects in the past.
- IUPUI joined Welcome.US, a nationwide movement to welcome Afghan refugees to the United States, as part of their Welcome Campus Network, and participated in an Operation Allies Welcome roundhouse discussion at the White House in December 2021.
- IUPUI established the IUPUI Taskforce on Refugee Community Support in January 2022 to support the influx of Afghan refugees and other displaced peoples. The taskforce will focus on building a stronger infrastructure to support students, scholars, and their families around their educational needs. Further information will be forthcoming.
- Read internal statements, articles, and letters of support: