There are thousands of Afghan refugees and asylum seekers in this country and elsewhere after fleeing their home country as a result of the political turmoil and conflict in recent weeks. It remains a volatile and dangerous situation and the response of our government is still unfolding.
There are clearly legitimate concerns that many Afghan citizens, particularly women and girls, may see a reversal of the human rights gains over the last two decades.
How can you help?
We have compiled a listing of some ideas for those who would like to show solidarity and offer practical help to some of these men, women and children – many of whom will be experiencing significant trauma and insecurity, whether in Afganistan itself or in this country and elsewhere having abandoned their previous homes and lives.
Some of the notes below are adapted, with thanks, from an article by Helen Pidd published in The Guardian on August 27th.
- Care4Calais needs money for new underwear and socks, and for the cost of hiring storage units and van transport.
Folkestone C4C are currently asking for Men’s/teenage boys clothing, sizes small-large and unused toiletries
- T shirts
- Joggers / jeans / shorts
- Hoodies / sweatshirts
- Trainers (in good condition) – especially sizes 41-43
- unlocked smartphones
- suitcases / holdalls
Also underwear and socks but only brand new, unworn.
It’s important that the clothing is in a good condition – no rips, stains, broken zips, tide marks or tears – to give people some dignity. We don’t need any work clothes, like leather shoes, shirts etc.
- The Refugee Council has an appeal to help Afghans resettling in the UK.
- The British Red Cross is appealing for donations and is supportingpeople newly arrivedin Leicester, Chelmsford, Hampshire, Cheshire, Birmingham, Brize Norton in Oxfordshire and Wrexham in Wales.
- KRAN is our local charity dedicated to supporting young refugees, a number of whom are from Afghanistan
Care4Calais is desperate for volunteers to help sort donations and for van drivers to ferry goods around.
Folkestone and Hythe District Council is among many across the country offering some accommodation to families recently arrived from Afgahanistan: further information via the link here.
The Samphire Project provides support for those accommodated at Napier Barracks
You may be able to offer help through their team with befriending, English teaching, navigating administration or anything else you think the new arrivals might need.
Can I offer my spare room or second home?
It is not yet clear where the Afghans will settle, but the charity is now only accepting applications from hosts in the cities it thinks will be most popular: London, Manchester, Bristol, Birmingham and Glasgow.
Further information and useful resources
IMIX is a network supporting communications among the refugee agency community providing useful narrative.
It is not yet clear where refugees from Afghanistan will be accommodated in the UK.
They will be free to live wherever they want and may choose big cities where there are already established Afghan communities. At least initially, however, most are expected to be resettled with local authorities who will volunteer to take a certain number of people. This is what happened with a similar programme to resettle 20,000 vulnerable Syrians between 2015 and 2020.
In Kent, there is already considerable pressure on social services seeking to support children and young people, with the local authority calling on the Home Office to do more to act upon offers of support across the country.
There may also be community sponsorship schemes, which allow local communities such as a church congregation to welcome a family. Further details of any local church community work will be added as we hear more of these.
The government has set up a website page where you can offer local support as a group or individual in this area
We welcome suggestions or more information to add to this page.