Every month, Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services features a client dedicated to improving their own life through education and support.
Naweed - December 2017
My name is Naweed Yousufi. I am 31 years old and my education is in the field of Public Affairs.
My first job in Afghanistan was with Contrack International as a Logistics Coordinator and Logistics Assistant. In this role, I provided logistical support to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. In 2005, I joined K-AFGTV, a television station based in Los Angeles, CA as the Afghanistan Correspondent. I was assigned to cover United States development in Afghanistan. This included topics such as their work in infrastructure reconstruction and strengthening democracy in my country. During that time, I also worked for the U.S. Army as a researcher and a freelance journalist embedded with U.S. forces. I worked side by side with American soldiers and was a part of military missions and operations in all 32 of Afghanistan’s provinces.
To be a journalist is an honor for me. As a journalist, I have the ability to help people by sharing their voice and to speak out for democracy, freedom and human rights.
I faced many security problems while I was in Afghanistan. I lost many of my best friends because of the danger we were placed in through our work as members of the media. I was attacked and injured several times, but was lucky enough to survive.
While working in Northern Afghanistan in 2015, I was targeted for death and badly injured. After that time, the U.S. government warned me that because I had become known for my journalism work with the U.S. military and my non-profit work with a civil society organization, my life was in too much danger in Afghanistan. They recommended that I apply for a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV).
In 2017, I traveled to Sacramento, CA as a SIV holder. My case had been assigned to Sacramento Food Bank & Family Services (SFBFS). When my plane landed at Sacramento Airport on June 13, I didn’t know what to expect and I was worried about whether someone would be at the airport to help me. I was shocked to find SFBFS' Refugee Resettlement Manager and two other employees at the airport waiting to greet me with a warm welcome.
SFBFS' Refugee Resettlement staff supported me a lot. They gave me everything I needed for my home, cultural orientation lessons, helped me with my social security card and many other things. A month after I arrived, I got my first job and now work for Amazon. In August, I started a non-profit organization called Refugees Rise to support other refugees through education, job skills, advocacy and increasing cultural understanding. It is not easy starting my life over again in a new country, but I am on my way to building a safer future for myself and I hope I can help others do the same. It feels so good to be in the United States where I have the right to speak out as a journalist to help others. Lastly, I just want to say thank you the United States government and the American people for supporting the SIV program.
- December 2015 - Montoya Green (Parent Education)
- November 2015 - Latdavanh Reyes (Adult Education)
- October 2015 - Jamie Monroe (Adult Education)
- September 2015 - Heart for the Hungry (Partner Agency)
- August 2015 - Samaya Ridgeway (Youth Education)
- July 2015 - Nematullah Sarvary (Refugee Resettlement)
- June 2015 - Denise Ford (Demonstration Garden)
- May 2015 - Joanne Fleming (Clothing)
- March 2015 - Adriana Santoyo (Youth Education)
- February 2015 - Inna Kushnirchuk (Parent Ed)
- January 2015 - Ebenezer Christian Church (Partner Agency)
- December 2014 - Mercy Housing (Partner Agency)
- November 2014 - Kenneth Holder (Food Access)
- September 2014 - Yvonne Davis (Senior)
- August 2014 - Rahimi Family (Youth Education)
- July 2014 - Kevin Wiley (Parent Education)
- June 2014 - Krash Munoz (Youth Education)
- May 2014 - Virgina Saucedo (Adult Education)
- April 2014 - Sherrie Kelley (Demonstration Garden)
- March 2014 - Theodore Williams (Food Access)
- February 2014 - Maria Perez (Parent Education)
- January 2014 - Francine Murchinson (Clothing)
- December 2017 - Naweed (Refugee Resettlement)
- November 2017 - Frances (Health & Nutrition)
- October 2017 - Lida (Immigration Legal Services)
- September 2017 - Van Family (No Student Left Hungry)
- August 2017 - Layla and Javon Wallace (Youth Education)
- July 2017 - Dorian (Food for Seniors)
- June 2017 - Nancy Cano (Parent Education)
- May 2017 - Christ Chapel (Partner Agency Network)
- April 2017 - Wazir (Adult Education)
- March 2017 - Mahari Family (Produce For All)
- February 2017 - Glenn (Clothing)
- January 2017 - Kristy (CalFresh)
- December 2016 - Miguel (Turkey Distribution)
- November 2016 - Carlos (Immigration Legal Services)
- October 2016 - Erisan (Youth Education)
- September 2016 - Alcaraz-Diaz Family (Health & Nutrition)
- August 2016 - Mehry Family (Refugee Resettlement)
- July 2016 - Megan and Zaire (Parent Education)
- June 2016 - Rosalyn (SMUD)
- May 2016 - Nathan (Adult Education)
- April 2016 - Target Excellence (Food Access)
- March 2016 - Carmen (Clothing program)
- February 2016 - Ramona (Holiday Recap)
- January 2016 - Frankie Rumsey (CalFresh Outreach)