Refugee family receives a free car from International Neighbors

Published: May. 20, 2022 at 5:52 PM EDT
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - A non-profit that helps refugees settle in and around Charlottesville gave a special gift to a family, originally from Afghanistan.

The Ihsan family has been calling Albemarle County home for about 7 months now. They’ve lived in hotels and struggled to find and commute to work. Now, that’s changing.

Rachel Vogus works for International Neighbors, the organization paying for the car.

“We were able to put to use the fund from the Unitarian Universalist (UU) church. They gave us $20,000 to put toward our Driving the Dream program, specifically to help newly arrived refugees and SIV’s from Afghanistan,” Vogus said.

Elizabeth Breeden is on the UU committee that decided to give this donation.

“We realized the barrier was not just affordable housing, but transportation because you can’t look for affordable housing, outside the bus routes. The affordable housing outside of the bus route is much more affordable than the housing within the city,” Breeden said.

Ziaullah Ihsan, the car recipient says he walked 30 minutes to catch the bus, which often did not come. He then sat on an hour and a half route, waiting for his stop at work. Now that route is no longer necessary.

A2Z Autos sold the car to International Neighbors and the Ihsan family for $4,000 instead of it’s original doubled price.

Shadi Goljamali, co-owner of A2Z Autos says she and her husband know first hand what it’s like to resettle in America and leave a home-country. They wanted to make this process easier for others.

Ziaullah Ihsan says he is very happy and thankful to International Neighbors.

International neighbors is actively looking for more donations, no matter the size. The organization says it wants to turn more stories of suffering into success.

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