“Welcoming a Family of Refugees from Afghanistan into the Neighborhood”
Monday, November 20
Speaker: Dawn Bookert
Sponsor Circle Education Chair
In early 2022, FPC joined with three other area Presbyterian churches to form a Sponsor Circle and file an application with the U.S. State Department to sponsor the resettlement of an Afghan refugee family to live in this area. The application was approved and in late June 2022, six members of the Azizi family arrived, a mother and five children. The dad and another son awaited clearance at a refugee camp in Kosovo and arrived five months later.
FPC was represented on the Sponsor Circle by Denny Boroczk and Bonnie Stump, our church’s coordinators. Denny is also the Mission Advocate. Dawn Bookert served as education chair. The churches raised money to resettle the family, which moved into a home in Georgetown. Church members volunteered to prepare the home and donated furnishings, and when the family arrived, to provide
transportation and other assistance needed.
Dawn will talk about our church’s volunteer efforts to assist the Azizi family, particularly the efforts to get the children enrolled in school. The two older children, a son and a daughter, now attend Texas State University, having graduated valedictorian and salutatorian of Richarte High School in May. Another son is a Richarte senior, while one daughter attends East View High School and another is at Tippit Middle School. The youngest child attends Annie Purl Elementary.
Dawn will have stories about efforts to get the older children’s transcripts translated so they could be placed at a grade level and how the children adjusted to bus schedules and various school activities. She will also talk about the mother’s participation in an English as a Second Language (ESL) class.