The first of six refugee families from Afghanistan is due to arrive in central Iowa this week, hoping to make a new life away from war and ethnic persecution. Laura Keegan, volunteer coordinator at Catholic Charities in Des Moines, will work to make the major lifestyle change easier for them.The families range in size from seven to nine members, with children as young as two years old. The agency is looking for Iowa sponsors to help the families transition to life in the U-S. Keegan explainshelp would come in the form of providing transportation for the family members, helping them get furniture and clothing, and cash donations to pay utility bills and rent. Keegan says the agency hopes to get these families on their feet and self-sufficient within three months. She says language will be a challenge, as the families’ first tongue is in Farsi, a derivative of Arabic.While the first Afghan family arrives today, five more families will be coming to Iowa in the next few weeks. To offer any form of help, call the Catholic Charities office in Des Moines at (515) 237-5025.
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