Ways to Support Afghanistan and Afghan Refugees

Social media has grown much quieter on the topic over the last few days, but Afghanistan and Afghan refugees still need our help. In solidarity, I have decided to highlight some ways that US citizens can offer support by donating, volunteering, amplifying Afghan voices, and through advocacy.

There are many other organizations out there; as such, this list is not exhaustive. 

If there are issues that you are especially interested in that are not listed here, I encourage you to seek out organizations that you can help on your own. Twitter and Instagram are good places to start.

Although I have chosen to focus specifically on ways you can help from the US, there are of course numerous ways that people all over the world – including the UK and Canada – can continue to support Afghanistan and Afghan refugees. This Twitter thread suggests several options for UK citizens. Additional options for both the UK and Canada can be found in this Instagram post.

Donate

Kabul Small Animal Rescue (follow on Twitter @KSAnimalRescue for updates)

“Kabul Small Animal Rescue is dedicated to providing safe, healthy boarding options for their rescue partners, who help international adoptions of Afghan cats and dogs. Through their veterinary clinic, they provide high-quality medical care to owned dogs as well as veterinary care, boarding and adoption options to injured or orphaned street animals. Their main focus is to provide a home-like environment for the animals in their care, so they employ overnight staff to keep their cats company and make sure their dogs get several hours of play and socialization every day through monitored playgroups.”

Recently on Twitter: 

Kindle Project Afghanistan Fund (kindleproject.org / Afghanistan Fund)

“The Kindle Project Afghanistan Fund will provide support to organizations working with artists, artisans, women, and girls who are at risk inside Afghanistan or have managed to relocate outside of the country. Our goal is to raise a minimum of $250,000 as soon as possible. We are looking for donations of $5,000 and above.”

Miles4Migrants (miles4migrants.org)

“Miles4Migrants was formed in 2016 with the goal of helping families rejoin their loved ones as quickly as possible, and without undue financial hardship. As of June 2020, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that over 79.5 million people are forcibly displaced worldwide with over 26 million classified as refugees forced to leave their home countries. While many refugees are eventually able to return home, UNHCR estimates that over 1.445 million refugees are in need of resettlement, while at the same time, government resettlement quotas have dropped, leaving a significant gap in meeting resettlement needs globally.”

Nowzad (https://www.nowzad.com/donate

“Nowzad manages a dog shelter currently looking after over 140 dogs (most available for adoption!!) along with a cat shelter (over 40 cats and most available for adoption!) supported by a modern veterinary clinic staffed by a team of 24 Afghan nationals (including Afghanistan’s first female veterinarians) delivering care and attention to animals in distress.”

Rukhshana Media

From an article in The Guardian: “Now more than ever, Afghan women need a platform to speak for themselves. As the Taliban’s return haunts Afghanistan, the survival of Rukhshana Media depends on readers’ help. To continue reporting over the next crucial year, it is trying to raise $20,000. If you can help, go to this crowdfunding page.”

Sahar Speaks (http://www.saharspeaks.org/donate)

“The vision behind our programme can be seen in its name. “Sahar” is a common female name in Afghanistan, translating as “dawn.” Its meaning here is two-fold: it represents all Afghan women, and also heralds the beginning of a new era, where Afghan female reporters can tell their stories to the world. We hope to change the paradigm that has contributed to the marginalisation of women’s voices.” 

Volunteer

Afghan-American Women’s Association (a-awa.org)

“A-AWA’s vision is to build a Community Center, which will serve as a permanent structural foundation where the Afghan community can benefit from coordinated services aimed at preserving their culture and heritage and to unite the whole community together allowing them to reach their full potential.” Offering Virginia-based volunteer opportunities and taking donations.

Keeping Our Promise (keepingourpromise.org)

“Keeping Our Promise is the most comprehensive resettlement program for Afghan, Iraqi and Kurdish interpreters and support personnel in the United States today. ​Based in Rochester, NY, we assist with initial visa applications under the Special Immigrant Visa Program. Once visas are granted, we will find and furnish our allies’ first apartments, and help with finding employment. We help with a modest vehicle to get to work. Caring Circles help fully integrating families into their new lives so they can quickly become contributing members of the Rochester, NY community.” Opportunities for volunteering and community service, as well as fundraising.

Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service (lirsconnect.org)

“Every day, our community of volunteers, ambassadors, congregations, and communities from across the country dedicate their time to welcoming new neighbors and educating their communities on issues related to migration and refugees.” This organization provides a lot of ways you can get involved, including donating money, taking action, and advocacy.

New American Pathways (newamericanpathways.org)

“New American Pathways is an Atlanta based nonprofit with the mission of Helping Refugees and Georgia Thrive. Our vision is for new Americans in metro Atlanta to become successful, contributing, and welcomed members of Georgia’s communities. We fulfill our goals by offering the most comprehensive, fully integrated continuum of services targeted to meet the specific needs of refugees and other immigrants in Georgia.” You can volunteer your time, donate items, or donate money.

Advocate

Video on the importance of contacting your local representatives by @zhashx:

Email the White House with a pre-filled form: act.rescue.org/yRqHe9p

Call script and email template: bit.ly/afghanistanemergency

Amplify

This whole Twitter thread by Bushra Ebadi:

Amplify the voices and work of Afghan scholars:

And, finally, resist the temptation to wax poetic or intellectualize about the loss of artifacts. Saving lives is more important.

Check out more ways to get involved in this Twitter thread by The Sportula.

Ways to Support the AAPI Community

This morning on Instagram I shared a message of solidarity with the AAPI community on this day and all days, and I condemned the increasing instances of violence that they have had to endure since the pandemic began. In particular, my heart goes out to all of my AAPI friends and colleagues in light of the racist, misogynistic, and sexist murder of 6 Asian women in Atlanta

Since sharing this post, I have come across innumerable resources, mutual aid funds, and action points that I thought might be worth collecting in a single place. 

As in the case of anti-Black racism, raising awareness shouldn’t be the only thing that you do in response to anti-Asian violence fueled not only by racism, but also by misogyny and sexism. It’s only the first step. Our friends and colleagues need us to stand with them and show up for them. 

Here are some ways you can do this.

Resources to share with your AAPI friends and colleagues:

Mental Wellness Resources for AAPI (Asian American Journalists Association)

A collection of mental health resources, ways to donate and volunteer, organizations to support, petitions to sign, books to read, and more:

Resources for unlearning your anti-Asian biases and prejudices:

Check out the amazing work that the Asian and Asian-American Classical Caucus of the Society for Classical Studies is doing (and consider donating!)

Black and Asian-American Feminist Solidarities: A Reading List

Resources and general information about the ongoing anti-Asian hate crimes (from May 2020)

Up-to-date (as of 3/16/2021) reports on anti-AAPI hate (from Stop AAPI Hate)

List of things you can do (in addition to donating) to support the AAPI community (from Stop AAPI Hate)

Bystander Intervention Training to Stop Anti-Asian/American and Xenophobic Harassment (Free) (Hollaback! & AAJC) 

Mutual aid funds, organizations, and businesses to donate to:

Where to Donate to Help Asian Communities (currently includes 60+ ways to do so)

Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Atlanta (also includes ways to volunteer and get involved in protecting AAPI voting rights in Georgia)

Support Georgia’s Asian American Community (donations go towards helping the victims and their families impacted by the violent acts that occurred on March 16, 2021; AAAJ-Atlanta)

Red Canary Song (a grassroots collective of Asian and migrant sex workers, organizing transnationally)

AAPI Mutual Aid Organizations by State

Support the AAPI Community Fund (GoFundMe)

The Hate Is A Virus commUNITY Action Fund 

This list is obviously not exhaustive, but I hope it can be a place to start for those who want to actively support our AAPI friends, colleagues, and communities.