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A role model for my sister

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May is the month to celebrate all mothers!

The IRC in NY & NJ celebrates all immigrant and refugee mother figures who have shown up for their loved ones as they face heavy challenges. The IRC in NY chatted with one client who is a mother figure for her younger sister. They both left Afghanistan in early fall with the hope to be safe. Their mother had passed away, and they left behind their family members. The older sister made it a priority to concentrate on what she could change.

She shares, “One of the biggest challenges has been getting used to the systems and society here, and I feel like we are starting from zero. At the same time, I am focusing on doing well at my job and encouraging my sister to enjoy making new friends.”

She has grown in this role as caretaker, all while juggling the layered steps of resettlement. For many immigrants and refugee mother figures, the challenge to lend emotional support to their loved ones involves planning and patience. Yet, the uncertainty of securing stable conditions can often reshape the day-to-day experience of motherhood. With the support of the IRC in NY, she has secured housing, enrolled her sister in school, and began working for an organization. These steps were fundamental, and she is determined to look ahead with the hope she can send remittances back home and support her sister’s adjustment to a new school environment -- all while coping with missing their family. The road ahead is still long. In the meantime, she has applied for college, where she intends to study media and visual arts.

The IRC in NY wishes her well in this step forward as she continues to be a role model and mother figure for her sister.