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Task Force Holloman organizes voluntary classes for Afghan Evacuees

  • Published
  • By Pfc. Anthony Ford
  • Task Force Holloman Public Affairs

HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M.-- For Afghan evacuees at Aman Omid Village on Holloman Air Force Base, the process of assimilating into American culture starts with knowledge.

To educate Afghans who will soon resettle in the United States, workers and volunteers from Task Force Holloman and the Department of Homeland Security have organized voluntary classes for all Afghans over the age of five.

“We're trying to give them information that will help prepare them for resettlement in terms of jobs in terms of life skills, in terms of cultural awareness,” said Karoun Tcholakian, who is detailed to DHS as a Cultural Affairs Officer.  “We're giving them the basic foundation to be successful when they resettle.”

Almost a dozen different kinds of classes are taught including science classes and English as a second language. The main focus of ESL is helping the Afghan evacuee’s learn to speak English and be able to hold conversations.

For many Afghan children this is their first experience in an educational setting. Volunteers also host classes twice a week to teach a children’s health and safety.

Some classes focus on more advanced classes on topics like immigration, industry and trade, employment, and how U.S. banks operate. Afghan evacuees learn how to adjust to life in the United States.

These classes are taught by volunteers, mostly other Afghan evacuees who have educational backgrounds like teachers or principals. Other classes are taught by various volunteers who are a part of Task Force Holloman.

One of the most important classes is about American culture, taught by U.S. Army Veteran and former police officer Jacqueline Crabill.

“What I'm trying to say to them is vital, and we cover everything we really do, especially how to treat people,” Crabill said.

While teaching, volunteers stress that adjusting to a new culture takes time and that there will be ups and downs.
During another class, volunteers who are a part of Task Force Holloman come and share their knowledge about different regions and states across the country. Afghan evacuees ask questions about the places they will be resettling. Volunteers also explain diversity in the U.S. and discuss ethnicities, religions and languages.

Task Force Holloman is teaching Afghan evacuees about the U.S. and its culture, aiding them in resettlement to create a lasting effect for generations to come.