Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation Partners with Local Nonprofits to Help Afghan Refugee Children
April 25, 2022
At Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation, care is given to everyone in need. That’s why we’ve partnered with local nonprofits like Catholic Charities Jacksonville and Lutheran Services of Northeast Florida to provide critical medical care to Afghan refugee children. Through the Foundation’s Mobile Health Outreach Ministry, a total of 70 children from Afghanistan were helped since January 2022 in addition to 13 refugee children from other countries.
These children often come to the Jacksonville area fleeing war and unrest in their home country. Adjusting to life in a brand-new community is difficult, especially for children who may have trouble understanding the gravity of their family’s situation. With limited resources and endless paperwork to manage, these families are often unable to get the medical care they need without further assistance from local nonprofits – which is where we’ve stepped in.
Much of the care provided to these children comes in the form of immunizations and physicals that are required for children to be enrolled in school. On November 30 of last year, Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation worked with Lutheran Social Services to provide school-entry physicals and immunization records for 20 Afghan refugee children. On December 8, we did the same for 12 more.
The Foundation also worked with Catholic Charities Jacksonville, a nonprofit focused on putting faith into action to serve the most vulnerable in the community. When they needed school-entry physicals for refugee children under their care, the Foundation stepped up to help.
Physicals were provided for 24 Afghan refugee children and seven refugee children from other countries. These physicals allowed the children to quickly enroll in school, in turn preventing them from falling behind academically.
The Mobile Health Outreach Ministry team also expects to help an influx of Ukrainian refugees in addition to more Afghan families resettling in our community in the coming months.
For Ascension St. Vincent’s Mobile Health Outreach Coordinator Catha Jones, helping refugee children start their new lives is incredibly rewarding.
“We are humbled to play a role in helping to aid these families as they adjust to their new home, especially as so many of them have faced unimaginable terror in their home countries. Efforts like this truly illustrate our core values in action, and we’re proud to have partnered with Catholic Charities Jacksonville and Lutheran Social Services to provide this important resource.”
The Foundation’s Mobile Health Outreach Ministry also provides services to local children who may be new to the area and need physicals done to be enrolled in school. This is in addition to the many other services we provide to poor and vulnerable citizens in the Jacksonville area.
Human connection makes community outreach impactful, and for children in a new country with limited resources, that outreach might be just what they need to get ahead. Through ongoing initiatives like this one, we’re able to provide quality care to those who need it most.