Help us Repay Lutheran Community Services

I wrote our story with the help of my ELD teacher:My mom, my three brothers and I are from Kabul, Afghanistan. My father was killed 5 years ago by thieves who were robbing our home. We lost everything after that. My oldest and youngest brothers both have hemophilia, and after we lost our father and all our wealth, it was very hard to pay for their medication and their daily shots. We were only able to get them shots once a month, so they were bleeding every day and they could not walk. We had to leave both to get the better medical help and to protect my older brothers from the people who killed my father. Our family was being threatened because my mom worked in a US military camp, and that is a real problem in Afghanistan. After getting threatened, we left all of our belongings and fled to Pakistan in the night by car. We stayed there for a couple months and didn’t know what to do. We learned about the IOM, which helps relocate people. We applied, and it took 2 years to be accepted to come to the US as refugees. IOM is partnered with Lutheran Community Services, and since we could not afford our flight to the US, Lutheran Community Services gave us a loan for our plane tickets. We signed an agreement that said that we needed to begin paying the loan back after 6 months of living in the US. We were unable to begin paying the loan right away because we are all school aged children except for our mom. Our mom is unable to work because she has to take care of my youngest brother full time due to his severe hemophilia. My brothers and I worked hard to learn enough English to be able to get jobs, and now all three of us have part time jobs in restaurants while still attending high school. Our jobs pay the rent and utilities, and buy our food. We are working hard to also make enough to pay back the loan to Lutheran Community Services. We will be able to work many more hours this summer, though we still need to take summer school to catch up because we started high school behind the other students. We are very grateful to Lutheran Community Services for the loan they gave us to get here, and we want to pay them back correctly. This summer, I was offered the opportunity to participate in the LEDA Scholars Program, in which I would have lived on the East Coast for a month working on my leadership skills. I chose to turn the opportunity down so that I could work to pay off this loan. Because our mother can’t work, we worry that we won’t be able to keep up with the payments and stay full time students. We are asking for some help to pay this loan off. Our 5 flights from Pakistan to Portland, OR cost a total of $5,643. I made the first payment in April 2019. We want to work and pay this loan, and are just asking for help of 20% of the loan so that we don’t get behind on payments. Thank you so much for taking the time to read our story.


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Hadia Turkmani 
Portland, OR

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