Speaking to the BBC overnight, human rights activist Malala Yousafzai urged all global leaders to open their borders to Afghan refugees. “I have been trying to reach out to many global leaders. I think every country has a role and responsibility right now. Countries need to open their borders to Afghan refugees, to the displaced people,” Yousafzai told the publication.
The images spilling onto social media are heartbreaking. Men and women cling onto the wings of a US Airforce aircraft, cars are gridlocked as Afghan people try to escape the country by road and shopkeepers desperately paint over advertisements depicting women. Females who held prominent positions in Afghanistan like these football players, are now in danger. Despite assurance from the Taliban that women and minority groups would be respected under sharia or Islamic law, experts such as Yousafzai hold grave concerns for their future.
It’s impossible not to feel helpless and hopeless, particularly as many of us are confined to home. But there are ways to raise awareness and to raise funds for much-needed organisations. Below are just a handful of ways to help, but in addition to this list, we urge you to do your own research.
Women for Women International
Women for Women is a not-for-profit organisation that enrols women in programs that equip them with life-saving skills and education in wake of war and conflict. The women are from Afghanistan, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq, Kosovo, Nigeria, Rwanda, and South Sudan. The organisation has launched an emergency campaign to raise funds for women in Afghanistan. Donate here and read more about their work, here.
We’re closely monitoring the situation unfolding in #Afghanistan. Our team is safe. They are very sad, but calm, and sheltering in place. We are so proud of them and the work they do serving #afghanistanwomen and their families across the country. 1/6https://t.co/MQ0IDYoqRy
— Women for Women Intl (@WomenforWomen) August 15, 2021
With its headquarters in London, Afghanaid is currently providing emergency services in the country while during times of peace they assist in building basic services and during times of natural disasters. You can donate, here.
Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security
Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace & Security engages in cutting-edge research on women’s role in peace and security efforts, economic empowerment, countering violent extremism, and mitigating climate change and natural disasters. Using a number of strategies to bring awareness to critical issues, the organisation is now raising funds to assist in the current crisis. They are calling for donations for Humanitarian Visas and evacuation programs, emergency aid and safe houses. You can find all the relevant donation links, here.
if you can’t donate…
Don’t Turn Away
In several weeks, the news cycle will focus on the next immediate tragedy. It’s important to share information from trusted sources and continue awareness for the crisis any way you can. Word of mouth is a powerful tool.
Similarly, use trusted sources to stay informed on the facts of the crisis. Knowledge is a powerful tool.
No matter where you are in the globe, write to your government on a local and national level and urge global leaders to provide its own efforts of assistance. As Yousafzai noted, we need to open our borders to desperate refugees. For Australians, write to your local members and senators, here.