Bethany Christian Services Launches Program in Western Pennsylvania to Meet the Needs of Afghan Combat Survivors

May 30, 2023

PITTSBURGH, PA — Bethany Christian Services today announced the launch of a program in collaboration with Hello Neighbor that would help address the needs of Afghan combat survivors and their families in Pittsburgh and throughout the state of Pennsylvania. The program seeks to address the need for holistic and trauma-informed services for Afghan survivors, as Pennsylvania has received more than 2,500 new Afghan arrivals over the past year with more than 1,000 of those individuals and families in the western part of the state.

“Every Afghan has been impacted by combat after more than two decades of ongoing conflict and war. Due to the complex trauma, cultural barriers, and economic difficulties these individuals and families face upon arrival in the United States, many have difficulty experiencing stability or self-sufficiency. At Bethany, we’re working every day to change that and are excited for the launch of this program so that our neighbors can thrive and have hope for their future,” said Caley Donovan, Refugee Site Supervisor for Bethany Christian Services in the greater Pittsburgh area. “We’re grateful for our partners at Hello Neighbor and for the outpouring of support we’ve received for the program across Pennsylvania from Afghan community leaders, local elected officials, medical professionals, and other resettlement and social service agencies. We look forward to continuing our work together to meet the needs of vulnerable families and children so that everyone can feel safe, loved, and connected.”

“Afghan refugees represent a growing piece of our community, and we want our newest neighbors to have all the support and tools they need to feel safe and whole in their new home,” said Sloane Davidson, Founder and CEO of Hello Neighbor. “To create those feelings of well-being, it begins by addressing lived trauma, which is why we’re proud to collaborate on a program leading this effort.”

To prioritize and center Afghan voices in every aspect of the program, a paid, ten-member Afghan Advisory Board will be formed to guide the goals and activities along with focus groups to obtain community input. While providing services to Afghan survivors in Western Pennsylvania, the program will utilize digital platforms and partnerships with other agencies to provide remote services for those who do not have access to a local program. Additionally, the program will work to build the capacity of mainstream providers in the western Pennsylvania region to serve Afghan survivors. For more information, please contact Caley Donovan at [email protected].