Youth Empowerment

HTP will help break down cultural and institutional barriers to youth integration by providing education to parents on the value that youth programming can have in helping the entire family integrate into American society. The goal is for Afghan youth to identify with the American experience, so they are better prepared to realize their full potential as future leaders of America. All facets of this programming depend on the partner having a strong understanding of specific elements of Afghan culture and education on the context of this unprecedented evacuation and resettlement process. HTP provides asynchronous and synchronous cross-cultural education and training for all partners it works with to ensure their programs can be fully leveraged in support of the Afghan newcomers they are supporting.

  • Youth Mentorship: High School and College students, particularly those enrolled in Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps (JROTC) and ROTC, will organize in communities nationwide to provide mentorship to Afghan youth who have recently arrived. This local approach leverages members of the military/veteran ecosystem to help organize the mentoring programs and allow the students to drive the specific programming.
  • Subsidy for youth civic programming and sports: One of the fastest ways to meet and connect with community members in America is through sports (Afghans love soccer) and local activities. However, Afghan parents may not fully embrace the value of their children participating in community sports as a means to foster belonging. Furthermore, parents and children may not be aware of these programs or know how to sign up. So, HTP will connect a nationwide network of programs (e.g. YMCA, YWCA, and co-ed Scouts) with Afghans in their community. Additionally, we will work with funders to subsidize these programs since refugee families often do not have the disposable income to fund these extra-curricular activities.
  • Play Therapy: For children, play is a language that can have considerable therapeutic benefits, particularly when facing challenges of adapting to a new environment. By leveraging the provider network of the Association for Play Therapy, HTP can identify providers in areas with concentrations of Afghan refugees and give providers cultural understanding of the evacuation and resettlement process for refugees. 
  • Educational Camps with an emphasis on Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math (STEAM): School breaks and summers are the optimum time to introduce children and their families to opportunities in the STEAM fields. Many of these programs are out of reach financially for families and many might not understand the value of developing these skills.