Afghan Cultural Society of MN

A nonprofit organization

$4,960 raised

100% complete

$0 Goal

Afghan Cultural Society of MN (ACS) was founded in 2018 as a volunteer self-help assistance organization to build community and preserve the Afghan culture. During the fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban in August 2021, ACS expanded activities to include mental health and case management direct services. This was an important pivot to adequately support the changing needs of the local community. 

After the Taliban forces took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, the violence and conflict that ensued caused widespread forced displacement, and many people fled to other countries, including the Untied States, for safety. The Office of Refugee Resettlement reports over 80,000 Afghan evacuees have been resettled in the United States since August 2021; and Minnesota received 1,360 Afghan evacuees, with a majority being resettled in the greater Minneapolis-St. Paul area. Many evacuees had no pre-existing tie to the United States and speak either Dari, Pashto, or both. This means cultural and linguistic appropriate services is necessary to identify and overcome the barriers and challenges related to mental health wellbeing and self-sufficiency.

Resettled communities face multiple barriers to self-sufficiency including mental health challenges, chronic health conditions, and language and cultural adjustment difficulties. Afghans resettled in Minnesota were exposed to violence and conflict, in some cases continuously for years, even prior to August 2021. This means they exhibit a range of mental health symptoms such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and anxiety. If not addressed, mental health symptoms impact daily activities such as getting or maintaining work, participating in family or community events, or fracture family communication.

The state of Minnesota worked with Hennepin County and resettlement agencies to support Afghan evacuees. However, given their humanitarian parolee legal status, Afghan evacuees were only given public supports (such as housing) for six months; and with that time now expired, Afghan families are in a state of panic. A large number of families contact ACS desperate for assistance with basic needs, including: how to find housing, secure employment, access healthcare, find legal representation to apply for permeant legal status, education navigation, and other basic needs. The heightened anxiety coupled with limited support has led to an increase in tension and these circumstances inhibit any meaningful recovery or path to self-sufficiency.

The mission of the Afghan Cultural Society of MN is to advocate for and empower our communities through a range of services, including assisting them in improving their mental and social health, promoting economic self-sufficiency, and creating a space for cultural wellbeing. Across the Twin Cities, ACS supports Afghan community members achieve resilience and self-sufficiency through cultural and linguistic-specific services. 


Your financial contribution to support the work we are doing in the our community is greatly appreciated. 

Organization Data

Summary

Organization name

Afghan Cultural Society of MN

Tax id (EIN)

87-2735332

Categories

Humanitarian Aid

Address

1 SE Main Street Suite 600
Minneapolis, MN 55414