Catholic Charities of Fairfield County has responded to request of Goodwin University and the University of Bridgeport (UB) to join in the effort to assist recent Afghan refugees coming to Connecticut. At the request of Bishop Frank J. Caggiano, Mike Donoghue, Diocesan Director of Catholic Charities, has reached out to Goodwin/UB president Mark Scheinberg to offer his support.

Bishop Caggiano said, the University of Bridgeport’s initiative to offer assistance to Afghan refugees is absolutely necessary given what is unfolding in their country. “It is a commitment to stand with those who are homeless, refugees and poor. it is a pro-life issue for which I wish to express my gratitude for President Scheinberg’s leadership, vision and support. I am also proud and grateful that Catholic Charities will be join in this important work.”

Goodwin University and the University of Bridgeport (UB) announced today they have committed to assisting recent Afghan refugees coming to Connecticut.

In a letter sent to President Biden yesterday, the two universities offered support in the form of housing, assistance with language skills, and work and career programs for Afghan refugees, beginning immediately. UB has committed the use of a 140-bed dormitory that is not currently occupied by students to house refugees on a temporary basis.

“It has been heartbreaking to see the photos and video of Afghans desperate to find passage to America that have filled the news this week, and we feel a deep sense of responsibility to assist however we can,” said Mark Scheinberg, president of Goodwin University. “If we have learned anything from the recent challenges of the pandemic, it is that we all need to look out for one another, and we quickly realized we could help.”

In addition to housing, UB is offering several programs to help Afghan refugees assimilate to life in America. UB’s English Language Institute provides non-native English speakers with intensive basic language and applied English language skills. The University also houses several work and professional career programs that can help to place refugees in jobs as quickly as possible so they can begin to build a new life in the U.S.

“UB has a long history of serving international students in a diverse, accepting and supportive environment,” said Danielle Wilken, Ed.D., president of the University of Bridgeport. “This along with our other capabilities puts us in a unique position to support these refugees right now, during the time when they need it most as they begin to carve out new lives in America.”

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