How can we help with Afghanistan? I’ve been working on this post for nearly a month. Honestly, it doesn’t feel done. No swipe-through post can give justice to what’s been happening in Afghanistan since August, let alone guide us on how to act!
Even if we’ve become a little numb, I invite you to keep this crisis close to your heart and REAL (this is one of the Five Phases – do you know how to move through it?). Choose one small step to remember our brothers and sisters. Especially as we’ve had a historical part we’ve played in setting up this crisis.
Afghanistan: People to Care First
First, here are some of those we need to be aware of and caring for!
*When I made these images I copied the English error of using the term “Afghani”. I later learned that this term is only used in reference to Afghani currency. Although I could correct it in the text, the images I have not yet been able to fix. Please forgive me for this cultural misunderstanding.*
There are so many people affected by the Afghan crisis. We have the persecuted religious minorities. There are the educators. The government workers. Hunger is a huge issue–even before the Taliban takeover! There are the highly vulnerable women and girls–many trafficking victims. And all the other types of trafficking victims! Then there are the US military families and friends, who struggle as they wonder if their sacrifice was worth it.
Among these groups, who lays heaviest on your heart?
Nine Ways We Can Help With Afghanistan
This is the real reason you clicked on this post (I assume!). I believe these will be the most effective ways for you to become a changemaker and make a difference.
1.) My first belief is that we all must create some space to lament. This situation is hard. Practicing lament always brings us freedom and hope in the midst of injustice. Learn more about this practice here.
2.) See where you are in the Five Phases of Rising Up. This is fifteen years of experience helping everyday people move from inaction to action. If you aren’t yet familiar with these Five Phases, learn them. You’re in them. Go here.
3.) Donate! So many opportunities, but scroll below to see where I gave.
4.) Look at orgs specifically empowering women. Girl Rising (they have an emergency fund) and Women for Afghan Woman are a good place to start.
5.) Encourage military families. My friend who works to come alongside military families’ and give them mental health support is a great resource. She is willing to chat with anyone who needs guidance here. (Note: you don’t have to agree with war to show love to military personnel.)
6.) Come alongside Afghan refugee families that are resettling to the USA! More on that below.
7.) From what I can tell, this is a very partisan organization, but they are all about helping Afghan allies. Go here if you are interested in trying to reach those still in country.
8.) Here is another political advocacy campaign, Advocacy Action to Protect Vulnerable Afghans with World Relief. Join them here to equip communities to welcome Afghans. relief.
9.) Lastly, I’ve heard here and there that finding women humanitarian relief workers is both essential, incredibly dangerous, and a high need. I am not sure if this is something to do with an on-the-grounds humanitarian organization, missions org, military or Peace Corp. But it is something to consider if you are thinking that risking your life this way might be your vocation.
Where Do I Donate?
If you are looking for a quick and wise way to donate to people on the ground, I’d suggest the pre-vetted orgs from the Legacy Collective for Afghan relief. If you go to the bottom of this post, you can see orgs I got all the information in these images from–feel free to give to those too! But for the sake of simplicity, donate here: Legacy Collective.
Let AirBnB.org Make Your Guest Room Available for Afghan Refugees:
From my advocate friend Shane Bennett:
“No, really! This is a thing. As the tens of thousands of Afghans begin to move off Army bases, there is serious concern about where they’ll live. Maybe you’ve sold a house in recent months (or tried to buy one!): It’s a tough time to find housing for a city-sized group of people. Further, in the America cities Afghans already live, housing is particularly tight.
What about your house? What about your camper? This is a big step, with implications that must be considered. Even so, should God nudge you, go to airbnb.org and sign up. I did. It took five minutes. To be fair, I live in the middle of nowhere and am not likely to be asked to house a family. Maybe though! Please let me know if you do this!”
Guess what? Let me know too! I think it would be cool is someone out this was a way they could serve Afghan refugees!
Be a Community Sponsor for a Refugee Family
My housemate, Meg and I watched this video (the first 45 seconds sums it up) and here is our conclusion:
Of course, being a community sponsor needs to be more than about our own happiness. But providing belonging, welcome, love and being loved in return are all things that are shown to give humans joy. Coming alongside a refugee family is one of the most vital ways we can do something right now–there are so many coming here and so many of us have a chance to rise up! I’ve been talking with another local mama as we begin trying to figure out how to best be available to walk alongside an Afghan family as they settle here. Will you join us?
Please share and/or save this post. Many everyday advocates are looking for a quick overview of what’s happening and for guidance on how to act. Make it more likely they will see this content I’ve spent hours collecting for them!
(The stats and information in this post came from many sources including (but not limited to) the following: @worldrelief @rescueorg @actionagainsthunger @girlrising @wewelcomerefugees @womenofwelcome @jgsalias @everydaydisciple @shanedar @internationalrefugee @womenforafghanwomen @saveourallies @jfs_sd @hopeforsd and the State Department’s 2020 Afghanistan Trafficking in Persons Report. Check these sources out for more information!)