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Afghans and their advocates share stories of resettlement in Vermont

Two people wear masks while placing cookie dough on a cookie sheet.
Chris Szpila with Academy School
In February 2022, fifth Graders from Brattleboro's Academy School make maple cookies with their new Afghan classmates, and delivered them to families along with donations of pictures books in English, Dari and Pashto.

Live call-in discussion: More than 100 Afghan men, women and children have relocated to Vermont in the past few months, following the U.S. military's exit from Afghanistan last fall. This hour, we hear from Afghans living in Vermont about how the resettlement process is going. We'll also talk to the leaders of local resettlement programs about how they're finding housing, jobs and even food for the new arrivals.

Our guests are:

  • A taped interview with Tamim, who recently resettled with his wife and children in Bennington after fleeing Afghanistan last year. He fears his parents and brother in Kabul will be targeted by the Taliban.
  • Joe Wiah, director of the Ethiopian Community Development Council office in Brattleboro, where more than 90 Afghans have relocated.
  • Amila Merdzanovic, director of the Vermont chapter of the U.S. Committee for Refugees and Immigrants, assisting nearly 150 Afghans resettling in communities across Vermont.
  • Amin Sahil, an Afghan who resettled in Burlington four years ago and is now volunteering to help new arrivals.

Broadcast live on Tuesday, March 8, 2022 at noon; rebroadcast at 7 p.m.

Have questions, comments or tips? Send us a message or tweet us @vermontedition.

Mikaela Lefrak joined Vermont Public in 2021 as co-host and senior producer of Vermont Edition. Her stories have aired nationally on Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Weekend Edition, Marketplace, The World and Here & Now. A seasoned local reporter, Mikaela has won two regional Edward R. Murrow awards and a Public Media Journalists Association award for her work.
Originally from Delaware, Matt moved to Alaska in 2010 for his first job in radio. He spent five years working as a radio and television reporter, radio producer, talk show host, and news director. His reporting received awards from the Alaska Press Club and the Alaska Broadcasters Association. Relocating to southwest Florida, he was a producer for television news and NPR member station WGCU for their daily radio show, Gulf Coast Live. He joined Vermont Public in October 2017 as producer of Vermont Edition.