Major companies pledge to help Afghan refugees advance their careers with support of US military veterans

Major companies including American Airlines, Google, Hilton, Merck, Pfizer and Starbucks are joining the Tent Partnership for Refugees’ new Afghan refugee mentoring program, an initiative that aims to train 1,500 Afghan refugees over the next three years

NEW YORK, March 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Today, on Refugee Tent Partnership (Tent) announced a new initiative together Hiring our heroes and on Afghan American Foundation to help Afghan refugees United States enter the workforce and advance in their careers. The program will enlist military veterans employed by participating U.S. companies—including through their Veterans Resource Groups (ERGs)—to serve as mentors, with the goal of mentoring at least 1,500 Afghan refugees over the next three years.

In an event featuring remarks from US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dennis McDonough, the first tranche of 16 companies announced their commitment to mentoring Afghan refugees: American Airlines, Bain & Co., Chobani, Cisco, Google, HelloFresh, Hilton, Intuit, ISS, Merck, Micron, Pfizer, SAP, Sodexo, Softchoice and Starbucks. Each company will mentor 50 Afghan refugees or more over three years, totaling at least 800 of the initiative’s goal of 1,500.

United States has welcomed approximately 90,000 Afghan newcomers since the fall of Kabul in August 2021, and American veterans in particular have been tireless in their efforts to support the Afghan allies with whom they once stood shoulder to shoulder,” said US Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dennis McDonough. “Mentoring Afghan refugees provides an invaluable opportunity for American veterans to foster meaningful relationships with their Afghan allies while playing a pivotal role in helping them secure the long-term stability they desire and deserve.” I encourage many more American companies to join this effort, especially those at the forefront of hiring our nation’s veterans.”

Complementing Tent’s broader mission to connect refugees with jobs – including through hiring from more than 300 major companies in the Tent network – the mentoring program will encourage Afghan refugee mentees in their career growth. Everyone will be connected with a mentor who will provide 1:1 guidance on topics such as navigating the US job market and workplace norms, how to create an effective resume, job interview practice, professional networking, and much more. Crucially, as many Afghans face steep career barriers despite their extensive professional and educational experience, the program will support medium to highly skilled Afghans as they seek to move into roles more commensurate with their experience.

“Finding a first job provides an all-important sense of security and relief for many refugees; but it can also mean that refugees often take jobs that are not commensurate with their skills or experience,” said Gideon MaltzCEO of Tent. “I am so proud of the vanguard of companies that have joined this initiative – thanks to their support and the many other companies that are coming, [thousands of] Afghans will have clear guidance and support from trusted mentors who can help them pursue opportunities that match their background and experience.”

The program will be a win-win for both Afghan refugees and veterans—as most U.S. veterans and most U.S. veterans Afghanistansay that according to a study by More general.

Eric Eversolepresident of Hiring Our Heroes said, “As America’s veterans know all too well, the road to employment is not always easy. We are so proud to partner with Tent on this mentoring program to engage veterans in US business so they can continue to nurture the strong ties forged with their Afghan allies overseas and play a vital role in helping of Afghan refugees to thrive in the U.S. workforce.”

of Pfizer The Fellow Veterans Resource Group has a deep commitment to leadership and service, and Tent’s Afghanistan Mentoring Program is an incredible way for our CRG members to put these into practice,” said Payal SahniChief Human Experience Officer, Pfizer. “By serving as mentors, they can play a critical role in Afghans’ journey to the U.S. and help ensure that Afghans have the support and opportunity to grow professionally.” We are proud to be part of the first group of companies to pledge our participation in this unique initiative.”

Hamdi Ulukayafounder of Tent and CEO of Chobanisaid, “I’m so proud of Chobani and the other companies that have pledged to step up for Afghan refugees. It’s a beautiful thing to witness the deep bond between American veterans and their Afghan allies, and this program will allow that to grow beyond that. I urge even more businesses, especially those already leading the way in hiring America’s veterans, to join us.”

To help companies successfully implement their programs at scale, Tent, Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (LIRS)and the Afghan American Foundation jointly developed a practical step-by-step mentoring guide that can be viewed here.

Mustafa Babakexecutive director of the Afghan American Foundation, said, “For Afghans starting over in the US, a supportive network and trusted advisors are key to success. We are proud to partner with Tent on this program and this handbook to ensure that Afghan newcomers have access to culturally appropriate mentoring and are given the opportunity and support they need to successfully integrate into their new home and the US workforce.”

This initiative builds on Tent’s suite of mentoring programs around the world, including supporting LGBTQ refugees in North AmericaUnited Kingdom and Germanyas well as those aimed at refugee women in Europewho have collectively mobilized more than 80 companies to mentor more than 4,300 refugees.

Companies interested in joining Afghan Refugee Mentoring Initiative in the US you can learn more by email [email protected].

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About the Refugee Tent Partnership:
With more and more refugees displaced for longer periods of time, businesses have a crucial role to play in helping refugees integrate economically into their new communities. Tent was launched in 2016 by Hamdi Ulukaya, CEO and founder of Chobani—a multibillion-dollar U.S. food company—to mobilize global businesses to fill that gap by helping connect refugees with jobs. Today we are a network of over 300 major companies engaged in recruiting, training and mentoring refugees. Learn more at

About hiring our heroes
Hiring Our Heroes (HOH) is a 501(c)3 organization of the US Chamber of Commerce Foundation. The nonprofit organization was launched in March 2011 as a national initiative to help veterans, transitioning service members and military spouses find meaningful employment. Working with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce’s vast network of state and local chambers and other strategic partners from the public, private and nonprofit sectors, HOH has helped hundreds of thousands of veterans and military spouses find meaningful employment through its comprehensive training and hiring events, scholarship programs and online tools. HOH programs and services are available in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, the District of Columbia, and at military installations worldwide. Find our more at

About the Afghan American Foundation:
The Afghan-American Foundation (AAF) is a non-profit and non-partisan organization founded in January 2020 to promote and advance the interests of Afghan Americans through thought leadership, political advocacy, and public education and engagement. Our voters are Afghans United States, a population expected to exceed half a million people at the end of the current wave of resettlement. Over the past two years, AAF has focused primarily on the humane and dignified resettlement of Afghan evacuees through high-level advocacy. AAF seeks to serve, support and represent Afghan Americans through five primary venues: principled advocacy; coalition building; civic engagement; education and opportunities; and research and analysis. Learn more at

SOURCE Refugee Tent Partnership

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