Project Life welcomes first Afghan war orphans in 7 years

Posted 3 September 2013 at 12:00 am

Press release, Project Life

WATERPORT – For the first time in seven years Project Life is welcoming the arrival of two war orphans from Afghanistan.

The children from Jalalabad will spend two months in Orleans County for Project Life’s annual War Orphans Rehabilitation Program. The young Afghan boys will join other orphans from around the world for rest and recovery in the peace of the western New York countryside.

“We are delighted and so grateful that we were able to get these Afghan orphans here,” said Linda Redfield, program director for Project Life. “The security situation in Afghanistan has been very difficult for years now, but with amazing help from local friends there and our elected representatives here we have now succeeded in restarting our Afghan program.”

Project Life is an all-volunteer, locally based program that brings small groups of orphans here every summer from international war zones. The children are hosted by local families and benefit from daily English instruction, art therapy, physical recreation, and lots of field trips in the area. They also receive free medical and dental care donated by local health professionals and medical facilities.

At the end of the program the orphans return to their extended families in their home countries.

“After two months of peace and relaxation with caring American volunteers, the orphans go back happier, healthier and much more hopeful about their future,” Redfield said. “They have family at home who love them – but they also have lifelong friends here.”

Sen. Chuck Schumer and Congressman Chris Collins, through their local offices, offered invaluable assistance to Project Life and played a vital role in making it possible for the two Afghan war orphans to join this year’s program.