From Courage to Reunion: Arsh’s Remarkable Journey

Ellmarjan, Arsh’s father, worked for four years as a translator for the American army. At one point, the Taliban asked him to leak information, but he refused and told them he’d never cooperate with them. After he and his family were harassed several times by the Taliban, Ellmarjan decided to leave the role for his family’s safety.

He went back to school and then started his own pharmacy in Kabul. Again, the Taliban asked for his collaboration, and, again, Ellmarjan held his ground. In retaliation, the Taliban threw a hand grenade into the pharmacy. Ellmarjan was severly wounded and stayed for half a year in the hospital. For security reasons, they had to close the pharmacy and move his family to a new city.

Ellmarjan became a physician’s assistant in a police hospital. After assisting on an operation of an Afgan General that received some media attention, his life in hiding was over.

One day, he and his father went to the bakery to buy some bread. Suddenly, they heard gunfire, and his father was killed. As it was no longer safe to be in Afghanistan, Ellmarjan and his family were forced to flee the country. In one of the toughest of decisions, Ellmarjan and his wife decided the trip was too dangerous and risky for them to bring their youngest child, Arsh, along. He stayed behind with his grandmother.

After a horrific trip through Iran, Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and the Balkans that lasted seven and a half months, they arrived in Belgium in March of 2019 seeking asylum. Almost nine months later, they were granted the official status as a refugee in Belgium. This opened the possibility to ask for family reunification. After another long procedure, Arsh was granted the visa to be with his parents and his new brother.

After almost 2 years, Arsh was reunited with his parents thanks to Miles4Migrants supporters. He’d turned 5 just days before the family reunion, so they celebrated his birthday together at last!

by: Cat Cooke, Miles4Migrants Marketing and Content Manager. Source Ellmarjan and Joachim Anckaert, Steunpunt Asiel.

How Miles4Migrants helps

We collaborate with a network of global non-governmental organization (NGO) partners who work directly with refugees and migrants to identify and verify individuals who are financially unable to afford air travel. Once our partners submit flight requests, we use donated frequent flyer miles, credit card points, travel vouchers, and cash to eliminate transportation barriers for the most vulnerable individuals affected by war, persecution, or climate disaster. Our goal is to help these individuals reunite with their loved ones and start a new life in a safe environment.

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– According to the United Nations, there are currently 108 million individuals forcibly displaced from their homes worldwide.  

– The Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that seeking asylum is a fundamental human right. Everyone has the right to life and liberty. Everyone has the right to freedom from fear. Everyone has the right to seek asylum from persecution.

As migration is often the last option for survival, migrants may embark on clandestine journeys, subject to danger, extortion, and inhumane conditions

Once they finally get legal approval for resettlement, migrants face another challenge that makes the journey seem impossible: the transportation costs.

There are many ways for you to get involved and help us continue our work:

You can donate cash to help us cover operational expenses or contribute your unused air miles, credit card points, or travel vouchers to help us book flights for refugees and asylum seekers. Additionally, you can help us spread the word about our cause and our impact on the lives of those we serve.

Every donation, no matter how big or small, has the power to make a difference. Thank you for considering supporting our mission.

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