Supporting Refugees

The Trump Administration may be shamefully turning its back on refugees, but here in Westchester County, houses of worship, advocacy organizations, and concerned citizens are working to uphold our nation’s long and honorable tradition of welcoming victims of oppression and violence.

I recently heard from one of the leaders of this effort, seeking employment opportunities for an Afghan refugee.  There is much more information in this flyer, and I have also copied the request below.  If you have any leads, please be in touch with either Gene Tozzi  at etozzi@gmail.com or Jeff Swarz at jswarz@mmdillon.com.   And please also spread the word.

From HIAS-NY & the Interfaith Council of New Americans (ICNA)

HIAS-NY & the Interfaith Council of New Americans (ICNA) have recently resettled an Afghan family admitted by the US Department of State under the Special Immigrant Visa program. This program welcomes Afghan nationals who assisted the US armed forces in Afghanistan and whose lives are in danger as a result. Our family includes two parents and three children, ages 3, 5 and 11 now living in White Plains.

The father of this family is a man of great courage, an experienced professional and a skilled manager. He is fluent in English as well as Dari, Pashtu and Urdu and has extensive experience working closely with American nationals. He is proficient in the Microsoft Office Suite (Word, Excel, etc.), has some experience with Quickbooks and has completed five semesters toward a BA in Business Administration at the American University in Kabul.

He is seeking an employment opportunity to begin his career in the United States. His name is not included for wide circulation here out of concern for family still in Afghanistan who continue to be in danger. If you are aware of a suitable employment opportunity, please contact ICNA volunteers Gene Tozzi (etozzi@gmail.com, 914-672-1088) or Jeff Swarz (jswarz@mmdillon.com). We will then send a complete resume and contact information.

Allow us to tell you a bit more about him. This young man grew up in the shadow of the Afghan Civil War and under the brutal rule of the Taliban. He came of age as NATO forces assisted in the overthrow of the Taliban in the aftermath of the attacks of September 11, 2001. As a new Afghan government was being formed, he secured a position as administrative assistant to a deputy minister. He later worked for the United Nations mission in Afghanistan dispatching, installing and operating a radio communications system that covered all 34 provinces of the country.

His longest work experience was as “operations manager” in a consulting firm founded by an Afghan-American woman to recruit local workers to assist with the needs of the US armed forces and other agencies. He worked for this firm for 11 years and became the chief deputy of the founder and CEO in executing numerous projects. She writes that he, “had the title of Operations Manager but he was much more than that.” He supervised a main office staff of 20 responsible for finance, human resources, administration, a payroll of 1000+ and a headquarters facility. Some of the projects he led were multi-million dollar contracts. Among the projects in which he played a key role were:

  • A literacy training program for Afghan security forces that was built out to over 900 instructors and 50+ supervisory staff reaching 13,000+ students in 13 provinces.
  • A nationwide trucking network to deliver supplies needed by the US forces.
  • A procurement program for locally sourced uniforms for Afghan armed forces.
  • Recruiting and equipping a staff of 100+ who recorded local broadcasts throughout the country during three national elections for transmission to a United Nations unit charged with monitoring the election.
  • Supervising 30+ staff in organizing a politically delicate election for the leadership of the Afghan Chamber of Commerce.
  • Coordinating a team of 20+ who facilitated business to business contacts between Afghan businesses and international buyers and vendors attending the annual Kabul Agricultural Fair.

His former employer writes that he “often went above and beyond what could have been expected” and was respected “for his excellent interpersonal skills, his work ethic, and his professionalism.”

Those who have met this young man are certain that he would quickly become a valued asset for any employer that chooses to hire him. Please pass this information on to anyone you feel might be able to direct him to an employment opportunity. Contacts: Gene Tozzi (etozzi@gmail.com) or Jeff Swarz (jswarz@mmdillon.com).