November 27, 2023
Like many other Afghan refugees who resettled in the United States, Mohammad Sharafmal faced the daunting task of rebuilding his life from scratch. “As soon as I arrived here in the U.S., I started from zero,” he explained. “It was so frustrating the first year to adjust myself to a new place, culture, and society.” What sets Sharafmal apart is his unwavering determination to not only reintegrate into society but also make a meaningful impact. His story embodies the spirit of resilience and the pursuit of a better future for all.
Sharafmal, who worked as a cultural adviser, translator, and construction advisor in Afghanistan for more than 10 years, was drawn to CHP in 2021 when he realized that he had already been doing the same type of work in his home country. Now, as the Single Family Project Manager for CHP Energy Solutions, Sharafmal has harnessed his passion for helping others and his commitment to creating a more sustainable future. He oversees CHP’s single-family home upgrades through funded utility providers, aiming to improve the living conditions of those in need.
What truly distinguishes Sharafmal is his passion for helping others. During an Energy Solutions summit earlier this year, he proposed an initiative to provide Ramadan care packages to resettled refugees and promote CHP’s services, an idea that his wife, Palwasha, gave him. These packages, distributed during the holy month of Ramadan, contained essential items like prayer carpets, electronic counters for prayers, prayer beads, and more. They also included information about CHP programs, dispelling misconceptions about their accessibility and cost.
In 2023, the inaugural campaign successfully distributed 140 care packages, with CHP flyers leading to almost 35 applications for the program. The campaign extended its reach to multiple areas in Virginia, including Woodbridge, Stafford, Fredericksburg, and Charlottesville. “Ramadan is a month of charity,” said Sharafmal, who holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Kardan University in Kabul. “People treat small things like big things during Ramadan. They don’t look at the value of the gift—they only care about how they are treated.”
As he continues to work on community engagement for CHP Energy Solutions, Sharafmal is an example of hope and determination, highlighting that even in the face of extraordinary challenges, individuals can make a significant impact on the lives of others. In October 2023, Sharafmal achieved another milestone in his journey by receiving his U.S. Citizenship. His advice to new Afghan refugees to work hard, study, and adapt to their new environment while preserving their culture is not only a guiding principle for himself but an inspiration to others starting from scratch in the United States.