Meet Yalda, Mosaic’s new Refugee Case Manager, and former Mosaic client
This post is in recognition of June’s annual Refugee Awareness Month.
In August of 2021, the withdrawal of American troops from Afghanistan led to the unanticipated fall of Kabul and the takeover by the Taliban. The world watched as Afghans fled, or desperately tried to flee, their beloved homeland. Mosaic has served the needs of refugees from countless global conflicts, and we were well prepared to welcome Afghan refugees and assist them with beginning a new life in North Texas. Afghan refugees and those with Special Immigrant Visas (SIVs) are eligible for assistance through our Refugee Social Adjustment Services and Citizenship Program. All of Mosaic’s refugee case managers are former refugees and have a first-hand understanding of the trauma refugees experience from war and exile. With our highly diverse staff, multilingual capacity, and nearly 30 years of experience serving refugees, Mosaic is a leading service provider for refugees in North Texas.
Yalda is Mosaic’s newest Refugee Social Adjustment Services Case Manager and is also a former client of Mosaic’s Citizenship Program. Like all of Mosaic’s SAS case managers, Yalda is a refugee. She is highly multilingual, Yalda is fluent in Pashto, Dari, Hindi, and Urdu.
Yalda and her family are originally from Afghanistan but were forced to flee the country as refugees. They found temporary shelter in Pakistan, where Yalda began studying English and became a science teacher at an Afghan school. Under the Taliban, Afghan girls and women were not allowed to go to school or have basic rights and freedoms. Once in Pakistan, Yalda’s mother strongly encouraged her six children to study and go to school; she knew this was a privilege that other Afghan girls did not have.
“I’ll never forget the day I met my first clients, and the happiness I saw on their faces, only because I was able to communicate with them in their language.”
Though Yalda and her family were safe in Pakistan, the country has strict limitations on the rights of Afghan refugees – they can never obtain full citizenship, which limits their employment options. After living in Pakistan as refugees for over a decade, Yalda’s family resettled in the United States in 2018. Seeking assistance in applying for a green card, Yalda’s family met with Mosaic’s Citizenship Specialist, who speaks Farsi. Yalda’s mother does not speak English, and working with a person who spoke her language made her feel comfortable and empowered through the application process. That’s something Yalda loves about Mosaic – clients are able to access services in their own language, which helps them feel connected, comfortable, and secure.
Yalda expected it would take several years before her family received their green cards and was surprised to receive them within one year of applying. After coming to Mosaic as a client, Yalda knew she wanted to be part of this work. She told her Citizenship Specialist that she would love to work at Mosaic and asked to be kept in mind for any job openings in the refugee programs. Mosaic’s Citizenship Director kept Yalda in mind and called her when a refugee case manager position opened. Yalda jumped at the opportunity to join Mosaic. She knows that supporting refugees is her calling and is thrilled to be part of Mosaic’s team.