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Cultural Resources - Information for Newcomers to the United States

Resources for U.S. newcomers and the people who support them. Guide developed collaboratively by the Aghan Educational Support Team in 2022. While some resources are specific to Afghan resettlement, many resources are useful for newcomers from a wide rang

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Schhol sign - Dari and Pashto

The word "refugee" is a legal term, "defined under international law, as a person being outside their home country and having a well-founded fear of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a particular social group." (Bridging Refugee Youth & Children's Services [BRYCS])

In the spirit of humanity and inclusiveness, in the narrative sections of this LibGuide, we will refer to persons who have had to flee their homes and countries and come to the United  States as "newcomers." At Fort McCoy they are called "guests."

Image Description: Sign at Fort McCoy, with the word “School” written in Dari, Pashto, and English. Photo Credit: Carina Brooks Used with permission.

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About Us

Wisconsin Map Displaying Fort McCoy and Western Tech in Western Wisconsin USA

In September 2021, Fort McCoy in Wisconsin welcomed approximately 13,000 Afghan newcomers. On base, the first priority was to make our guest's basic needs of food clothing, housing, and medical care were met. Over time, 11 different schools popped up around base, many started by Afghans themselves. Fort McCoy provided the buildings, chairs, whiteboards, and school supplies.

Western Technical College was invited in early November to support the education needs of these schools. With the support of a grant through the Wisconsin Technical College System, Western was uniquely positioned to provide a quick response. They put together the Afghan Educational Support Team. In Phase 1, the team taught English to guests as well as provided teacher training. After Fort McCoy resettled Afghans in mid-February 2022, the team shifted to Phase 2, which included supporting resettlement agencies and other Wisconsin organizations who support Afghan newcomers.

During Phase 2, the team also put together this LibGuide, which links to resources for Afghan newcomers and people supporting them. While some resources are specific to Afghan resettlement, many resources are useful for newcomers from a wide range of places.

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