Refugee families getting acquainted with community 1 week after arriving in Wausau area

First Afghan refugee family arrives in Wausau on Dec. 29, 2021
First Afghan refugee family arrives in Wausau on Dec. 29, 2021(New Beginnings)
Published: Jan. 6, 2022 at 6:54 PM CST
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - It has been a full week since the first refugee families arrived in the Wausau area through a new resettlement agency and it has been a learning process for all involved.

The director of the Ethiopian Community Development Council’s Wausau office -- the Multicultural Community Center - Wausau -- Adam VanNoord said the school-aged children will begin classes as soon as Friday or early next week. English-language classes and orientation have been scheduled for the adults and children as well.

Two families from the Kabul area of Afghanistan had a lot of help from their volunteer co-sponsor groups to get them connected to resources and basic needs. VanNoord said they also have been exploring and getting acquainted with the community.

Thursday, VanNoord and others from the resettlement agency had the opportunity to see a more seasoned agency in action in Green Bay, as they continue to work out how best to support families coming in.

The families of four and eight arrived at the Central Wisconsin Airport on Wednesday afternoon and evening. More families are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.

The agency is needing to grow its co-sponsorship teams, which are groups of people who volunteer to help connect people to resources and prepare for them to arrive in their new homes. To apply and learn more, click here. To volunteer or help in other ways, click here.

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