(INDIANAPOLIS) – About half the Afghans temporarily housed at Camp Atterbury are kids under 14.
Indiana National Guard Adjutant General Dale Lyles says about 7,000 refugees are at the base near Edinburgh. Three thousand or so are kids, and the Guard has set up some programs aimed specifically at them as they try to adjust to a new country. Lyles says the base has organized a soccer tournament this weekend. Kids at the base are also learning English or working with art therapists.
Local hospitals, including Riley Hospital for Children, and the Indiana Department of Health are conducting medical checkups. Lyles says for most kids at the base, it’s the first traditional health care they’ve ever had.
Adults and children alike have received what in the U-S would be childhood vaccinations, like those for measles and chickenpox. The vaccinations, as well as the COVID-19 vaccine for those who are eligible, are a requirement for Afghans resettling in the U.S.
More than 10,000 Afghans have been resettled after passing through Camp Atterbury or one of eight other military bases nationwide. But Indiana Homeland Security director Steve Cox says another 5,000 who fled Afghanistan are still overseas waiting to come to the U.S. He says it’ll probably be a few months before the last of the evacuees complete vetting and settle into new homes.