With the help of the Neighborhood Support Team, the Javed family grew by one member with the arrival of Ms. Javed’s brother in Falmouth earlier this week.
The Javeds, a family of refugees from Afghanistan, arrived in Falmouth just before Thanksgiving and had spent the past month and a half settling into their new home when NST received a call that Ms. Javed’s brother would be joining them in Falmouth.
“We found out last month that he was on Holloman Air Force Base in New Mexico,” said Marguerite McElroy, a representative for NST. “We had asked the agency to assure him, which means that the International Organization for Migration, which moves the refugees around the country, requested him. Assure is the word that agencies use, it means that they will accept him and place him and that they have the resources or somebody has the resources to do so. In this case, it’s us.”
Ascentria, the placement agency that NST works with, had originally said that Ms. Javed’s brother would arrive between Christmas and New Year’s, but his flight was amongst the thousands cancelled that week.
“After lunch [Tuesday] we got a call from a friend in California who told us he had [the] itinery and he would be arriving on [Wednesday] afternoon at Logan Airport and would like to be picked up,” Ms. McElroy said.
Ms. McElroy made the drive to Boston with Lynn Hassouna, another NST member, Ms. Javed, and her baby girl.
“It’s very exciting,” Ms. McElroy said. “[Ms. Javed] is very excited about getting her brother.”
The Javed family’s long journey to Falmouth from Afghanistan included stops in Qatar and Germany before reaching Fort Pickett in Blackstone, Virginia, in mid-October, where they stayed for about five weeks until they landed at Worcester Regional Airport on November 22. It is unclear how long Ms. Javed and her brother were separated, but Ms. McElroy said they have been apart since at least October, when the Javeds reached Texas.
The Javeds have six children, ranging in age from 7 months to 14 years old. Ms. McElroy said that since being enrolled in Falmouth Public Schools, the children are thriving and started picking up English rather quickly, especially the younger ones.
NST is also working to tutor both parents in English, and will do the same for Ms. Javed’s brother. Through professional preparation and English language practice, Mr. Javed was able to secure a job and is now working part time. Eventually, Ms. Javed’s brother will do the same. NST is still seeking year-round housing for the family but for now, the family of nine will live together in their current accommodations.
“We’re going from a family of eight to a family of nine,” Ms. McElroy said. “But it’s the first step in reuniting a family.”