GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – As the crisis in Afghanistan continues, organizations in the Upstate work to help refugees. This as those of Afghan descent worry for those still in the country.
Nelo Mayar is originally from Afghanistan.
“I grew up in war, and it’s always been like this,” she said.
Her family left decades ago, and she’s been in Greenville for ten years running her restaurant. When she sees what is happening in her home country, she has a different perspective than most.
“I’m concerned, but hopeful and relieved because it could be worse,” Mayar said.
She says it could be even more violent. Meanwhile, she’s feeding people in the Upstate who are giving her loving words of support.
“I do have lots of loyal customers that have become my friends and family,” Mayar said.
Those customers are helpful in this trying time for her country.
“Pray, or think of positive things. And that’s what I’m trying to do,” she said.
“As an organization, as a community, we are ready and eager to support any who do come,” Brandon Baughn, the Office Director of World Relief Upstate South Carolina, said.
Humanitarian organizations like World Relief are helping in the current efforts to help Afghans leave amid chaos.
“Over 250 of those refugees have been in August alone,” Baughn said.
Refugees his office has helped have mixed emotions.
“He is relieved for himself and his immediate family that are here. But he expressed concern and is worried about those who are still there,” Baughn said of one refugee.
Mayar says she doesn’t have immediate family still in Afghanistan, but does have advice for those seeking refuge in the United States.
“If you are working hard and you have a dream or a point you want to get there, this country is delivering that to you,” she said.
As she serves her regulars traditional Afghan meals, she knows that Greenville is now home.
“When I think, there’s no other place I would like to live, even my own country.”
The deadline for refugees to leave Afghanistan is August 31.