By: David M. Foster, CFP®, CAP®
Hello, listeners, and welcome to the 21st episode of the Gateway Giving Podcast!
Try to imagine, for a moment, that you’re living your life as you have always lived it, and, all of a sudden, in order to save your life and the lives of your family, you must flee to a foreign country with no money, no connections, no housing, and no job. This is the situation that Afghan refugees are facing today. As you are probably aware, the United States’ decision to pull all of our troops out of Afghanistan has caused massive societal upheaval and created tens of thousands of refugees out of the people who had been assisting the U.S. in its fight against the Taliban. The St. Louis area has agreed to take in up to 500 of those individuals.
Luckily for them and for us, the International Institute of St. Louis is prepared to meet the challenge. It is their goal to help these people achieve self-sufficiency as quickly as possible. My guest today is Paul Costigan, the Sr. Vice President for Operations & Missouri Refugee Coordinator for the International Institute of St. Louis. He’ll tell you about how the International Institute works to achieve that goal of self-sufficiency through short term housing assistance, job training, English classes, and job placement, among other things.
If you believe, as I do, that that the U.S. bears most of the responsibility for turning these people into refugees in the first place, and, thus, we are obligated to help them to escape their oppressors, then I think you’ll get a lot out of this interview.
As always, if you have any questions, requests, or suggestions for people or organizations for me to interview, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, without further ado, here is my interview with Paul!