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Episcopal Migration Ministries awarded major grants to support communities welcoming Afghan refugees

November 19, 2021
Office of Public Affairs

Episcopal Migration Ministries (EMM), the refugee resettlement and migration ministry of The Episcopal Church, has been awarded two major grants to support its intensive and ongoing work helping resettle Afghan refugees and other asylum seekers.

EMM is one of 15 new grantees awarded a total of $1.2 million by Community Sponsorship Hub and a coalition of private funders, and one of nine core resettlement agencies awarded a total of $2.5 million by the Welcome Fund.

“We are grateful to Community Sponsorship Hub and the Welcome Fund for their generous contributions to help in this vital humanitarian work,” said Kendall Martin, senior communications manager for EMM. “Donations from these agencies, as well as the many individuals and churches that support EMM, help us better serve arriving Afghans and those seeking asylum.”

The Welcome Fund grant will go to support housing for the Afghans that EMM helps resettle. EMM works in public partnership with the U.S. government to help with resettlement and other direct services through a network of 11 affiliates around the U.S.

Funding from Community Sponsorship Hub will support Neighbor to Neighbor, an EMM program that connects asylum seekers with an Episcopal congregation or other faith group that serves as a community sponsor.

“For more than 80 years, long before the United States established the formal refugee resettlement program, Episcopalians, congregations, and dioceses have been welcoming those seeking safety and protection,” said Allison Duvall, senior manager for church relations and engagement.

“The legal process to be granted asylum is long and arduous, and while these neighbors of ours await a legal resolution to their request for protection, they have no access to public benefits, and oftentimes wait months before they receive work authorization,” Duvall said. “This is where Episcopalians step up to respond, answering the question at the end of Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan: ‘Which of these was a neighbor?’ Episcopalians show mercy and loving-kindness by being neighbors to our siblings seeking asylum.”

As EMM continues to welcome and resettle Afghan allies to the U.S. through its affiliate network, the greatest need continues to be assistance with housing. Financial donations directly support providing basic services and assistance with housing to newly arrived Afghan allies and assist EMM in expanding its work in developing sponsorships for Afghan allies.

Those interested in helping with this need can make a donation online or send checks to: DFMS-Protestant Episcopal Church US; P.O. Box 958983; St. Louis, MO 63195-8983. (Include Episcopal Migration Ministries and Afghan allies in the memo line.)

Those interested in volunteer opportunities or community sponsorship to support of our Afghan allies can fill this interest form. Information for Afghan nationals about the resettlement efforts is available here.