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.