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Afghan Children in Jacksonville to get Treatment Through Solace for Children Program

5:27 PM, Jun 23, 2010   |    comments
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JACKSONVILLE,  Fla. -- Three weeks into their stay in Jacksonville, 16 children visiting from Afghanistan are getting the medical treatment they need and a summer vacation they'll never forget, thanks to Solace for Children.

Feroza is from a rural area in Afghanistan and had to ride on a mule for two hours through rugged terrain, then take a 24-hour flight to get to the U.S. 

Now she is getting used to her new surroundings and enjoying the room she shares with 15-year old Jane Ann. 

"She sleeps right next to me...it's fun having her in my room," said Jane Ann. 

Feroza seems most excited about having a bathroom and a shower right next to her room. "She's a little hugger and in the morning, she runs downstairs and gives me a big hug," said host mom Julie Howard.   

Also in her room is a framed picture of her family. She misses them but is happy to be in Florida to receive treatment on her arm, which was burned in an oven when she was 2. 

"She said she's happy and she's hoping her hand will get better so she'll be able to go to school and learn," said her intrepreter.

In between medical visits, she's painting and playing, going to the beach, and learning about new foods. 

Her host family is thrilled to have her in their home.

"She just started to call me mom. It's very nice. She's just like one of my kids...we're trying to teach her to ride a bike and she's been swimming. She loves the water," said Howard. 

Many of the other host families live nearby, so Feroza is able to visit and play with other Afghan children here.  

First Coast News

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