Plymouth's Immigrant & Refugee Alliance tells you how to help the Afghan refugees in this time of great need.
In response to the humanitarian need in Afghanistan, the Plymouth Immigrant and Refugee Alliance (PIRA) is providing links to vetted organizations providing aid. In addition, there is one local family seeking help with a GoFundMe campaign. Nationally, there are multiple vetted organizations you can support. Of note, these links were active as of August 27, 2021, but some situations may have changed as the situation in Afghanistan deteriorates.
HOW YOU CAN HELP LOCALLY (IN LAWRENCE, KANSAS)
Ahmad "Baset" Azizi grew up in Afghanistan with a loving, open-minded family. His primary school was in front of the Afghanistan Ministry of Internal Affairs, a favorite target of the Taliban. He sometimes saw blood and body parts in the streets and inside the school, a sight that is hard for a child to comprehend. Fearing for his safety, his parents asked if he wanted to attend music school. Baset started studying at the Afghanistan National Institute of Music in Kabul. At the time, Baset had never seen a trumpet. Yet, by 2013, he was the principal trumpet in the National Orchestra. With the support of many generous people and Baset's hard work, he attended Interlochen Arts Academy in Michigan. Baset graduated with honors on May 27, 2017, and was accepted by the University of Kansas School of Music. He is close to finishing his degree at the University of Kansas.
Baset's father served and assisted the United States and NATO military efforts in Afghanistan over the past 20 years. Due to the recent pullout of the United States military, Baset's father immediately became a target for Taliban retribution due to his cooperation with the United States and NATO. On August 24, 2021, Baset's parents and three sisters (ages 14, 18, and 27) escaped Afghanistan through evacuation efforts at the Kabul airport.
They left everything (house, furnishings, clothing, bank accounts) behind and are starting a new life in Lawrence, Kansas. We invite you to generously support this GoFundMe project to help Baset's family get established and settled in their new home.
The average refugee resettlement process often requires two years to allow the individuals to learn a new language, adjust to the different norms, find a job sufficient to support their family, and establish permanent housing, etc. Baset's family needs help to cover the following expenses: their travel from Dubai to the United States (approximately $10,000), housing, furnishings, clothing, transportation, and the many costs related to daily living. We estimate these costs over the next one year to total approximately $70,000.
HOW YOU CAN HELP PEOPLE STILL IN AFGHANISTAN
As the situation has escalated, organizations have launched initiatives to aid refugees. Some are providing aid to those remaining in the country.
The International Rescue Committee is a global nonprofit organization dedicated to aiding people displaced by war, persecution or natural disaster. The organization has worked in Afghanistan since 1988, providing “displaced families with shelter, clean water, sanitation and other basic necessities,” according to its website, as well as education and cash assistance. The organization is accepting financial contributions for its relief efforts.
Women for Women International — a nonprofit that aids female survivors of war and conflict — established an emergency campaign in Afghanistan. According to its website, one donor is matching up to $500,000 in contributions for that program.
Women for Afghan Women, the “largest women’s organization in Afghanistan,” according to its website, is also accepting donations to help provide “safe shelter, resources, and aid to the thousands of women, children, families, and staff.”
The Child Foundation, which helps impoverished children access education, created the Afghanistan Crisis Fund for Emergency Assistance in the Balkh province, where about 800 children supported by the foundation live. According to its website, it has raised $15,000 to feed 300 families. The organization is accepting contributions. GlobalGiving, a crowdfunding network that connects nonprofits to donors, launched the Afghanistan Emergency Fund to support families, activists and journalists who are “particularly at risk.” It said donations for this initiative will be distributed to GlobalGiving’s local partners in the country.
Also aiding members of the news media, the Committee to Protect Journalists is providing resources to Afghan journalists and urging the United States to ensure their safety “by facilitating safe passage out of the country and providing emergency visas.” The organization is accepting donations.
Vital Voices Global Partnership is a Washington-based organization that “invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges,” according to its website. It created the Afghan Women’s Fund to support the safety of women’s rights activists in Afghanistan and those who have been evacuated from the country.
Two organizations serving Muslim Americans have launched initiatives to aid displaced families in Afghanistan. Islamic Relief USA is accepting donations to help families struggling with hunger in Kabul, Balkh, Herat and Nangahar provinces. Muslim Aid USA is providing meals and hygiene kits to displaced people in Kabul and Konar province.
HOW YOU CAN HELP THOSE TRYING TO LEAVE AFGHANISTAN
No One Left Behind is a U.S.-based nonprofit devoted to “ensuring that America keeps its promise to our allies and their families who risked their lives for our freedom.” The organization aids Afghan interpreters trying to get visas and resettling in the country. It is accepting donations.
Miles4Migrants accepts donated airline frequent flier miles, credit card points, and cash to help people reunite with loved ones or resettle in a new country after fleeing their own that’s imperiled by war, persecution, or disaster.
Hearts & Homes for Refugees is an advocacy group for people who have Special Immigration Visas, including Afghan translators, engineers, security guards, embassy clerks, logisticians, and soldiers who helped the U.S. efforts. It is accepting financial contributions.
Human Rights First is seeking pro bono lawyers to assist Afghan evacuees. The human rights organization also offers resources to protect Afghans’ online identities from the Taliban. According to the group, they are “now likely to have access to various biometric databases and equipment in Afghanistan, including some left behind by coalition military forces,” according to the group. In addition, it is collecting donations for its relief response.
HOW YOU CAN HELP AFGHAN REFUGEES COMING TO THE U.S.
The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is looking for volunteers to assist Afghan refugees with airport pickups, housing, and meals. While efforts are focused on the Washington, D.C., region, Washington state, and Texas, individuals can sign up for its general standby list. The group is also accepting donations.
Church World Service resettlement offices provide housing, job training, and social services to Afghan refugees in the United States. The nonprofit organization is accepting donations and offers of rental units and sponsorships for arriving families. Interested people are asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org.