Dozens of Afghan refugees arrive in Wichita, already connecting with employers

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – Dozens of Afghan refugees are now in Wichita and beginning a new life after escaping from their home country.

“This is an opportunity for us to start our new life,” said Aamo Qurvany.

On October 17, Qurvany arrived in Wichita with his wife and 18-month-old daughter. “When we arrived in the airport, people was clapping for us and welcoming us. Welcome to Wichita. Welcome to America; that was a pleasure for us. That was great that we thought that we are in our home,” he said.

The International Rescue Committee has been working to make this transition as smooth as possible.

“We had employers calling us almost on a daily basis wanting to know how to hire one of our refugees,” said Christopher Cooper-Martin, Employment Supervisor for the IRC.

The IRC hosted a job fair Wednesday to get Wichita’s newest residents in front of employers.

“They’re really wanting to get employed as quickly as possible,” Cooper-Martin said.

Cooper-Martin said getting connected to a job quickly is key for them.

“We are also helping set up housing and having them sign leases and so having to sign your own lease without employment is quite scary for them. So being able to hit the ground running and get a job soon after arrival. Even with having IRC support, it makes a huge difference,” he explained.

With job opportunities available, Qurvany is hoping for a bright future.

“Start working, I start my studies at university. So that will be the hope for all of us, and especially for me. I just want to develop and make a good career.”

The IRC expects about 400 refugees to come to Wichita by the end of the year.

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