Resettle SOH RAB

Resettle SOH RAB

From Caleb Thompson

We are raising funds to finish out the resettlement process for our friend Soh-Rab. He fled Afghanistan when he was barely an adult & has been stuck in Indonesia until recently he has an opportunity to be safe in Canada

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Sohrab was volunteering in educating the women in Afghanistan even from the dangerous areas which were under the Taliban’s control. However, the Taliban threatened him to stop his job and after he didn’t listen to them, they attacked and burned the school he and other volunteers were teaching women.

The Taliban then started looking for him, and he luckily fled from there to Indonesia by boat in 2014.

In Indonesia, he lived in a detention centre for 4 years. He didn’t have room to sleep but a tent where he spent 4 rainy seasons and got sick several times. Despite these difficulties, he kept learning new skills and reading books which he loves doing.

His hope now is to find a group of friends who can help him come to Canada where he can pursue his education and help society.

His Early Life

Sohrab Yousufi was born in 1991 in a village of the Malistan district in Ghazni province in Afghanistan. In late 2012, he finished high school, and after completing a teacher training course in 2014, he joined Noryaw Institute which was educating local women.

The job with the institute took him and his colleagues to several different areas to do their great work. This time they had to go to another village of Malistan, located in the border area of Ajristan which was a dangerous area.

“There wasn’t any volunteer who would agree to go there, so I decided to go and make sure the women in that area had the opportunity to learn.”

The Incident

After two months, the Taliban sent them a letter demanding Sohrab and other teachers to stop teaching women. They didn’t take that letter seriously and continued their program. They were determined to accomplish their duty.

“On March 8, 2014, after returning from lunch, I found that my world had been turned upside down. The school had been burned. The women had been beaten; most had fled and the Taliban had been looking for the teachers.”

On that dreadful day, he escaped back to his village. The Taliban knew about Sohrab’s work and his village. He anxiously hid at home for three harrowing days. He had no chance to live there.

It was early in the morning when Sohrab kissed the hands of his parents, said goodbye to his village and began his journey to Kabul.

The Way to Indonesia

He arranged for a people smuggler with the help of his friends, and on April 1, 2014 he flew from Kabul to New Delhi, India and stayed there for 6 days. On April 7, he flew to Malaysia, and he arrived in Medan, Indonesia by boat on April 8, 2014.

“I had to walk for more than 1 hundred meters in the water to reach the boat. The boat was so small and more than 30 people were already in that. That was a horrible, rainy and dark night.”

His Life in The Detention Centre

After arriving in Jakarta by plane, he registered himself at the UNHCR office on April 16, 2014.

With no right to work or way to support himself in the new country, Sohrab made his way to Makassar Immigration Centre to ask for assistance. After remaining inside a temporary shelter, he was transferred to a detention centre in Makassar on November 6, 2014.

“The detention centre was more like a prison. 270 refugees were kept inside a building which had the capacity of 20 persons.”

Due to overcrowded, Sohrab couldn’t get a room or a corridor. While living there in a tent and spending four rainy seasons, he faced terrible illnesses due to inadequate medical care, lack of proper food and clean water.

“Thankfully, I had access to books in those hard days, so I started learning English and fell in love with novels. Reading about other people’s lives and perspectives helped me escape the monotony life in detention.”

Finally, Sohrab received his freedom and was transferred to a community house on March 16, 2018.

His Life Now

Despite facing restrictions like, not having the right to work, study, drive and even moving to another city, Sohrab has been keeping himself busy in learning the English language and about local culture.

Soh Rob has finally been sponsored to travel and live in Canada, But cannot submit his application until he raises $1600 Canadian ($12,000 usd)and has already raised $9,000 Canadian (6,600 usd), and needs a $7,500 Canadian (5500 usd. 

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