Amid the recent turmoil and rapidly deteriorating situation that has developed following the official U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan, many here in the Bay have quickly rallied to find tangible ways to help. . The Bay Area, particularly the East Bay, has a unique connection to these events through its role as home to one of the largest populations of Afghans in the United States, where many resettled after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979 and the events of September 11.
âAfghan communities have made vital contributions to California over the past four decades,â says Robert Crews, a Stanford history professor whose areas of expertise include Afghanistan. “We have a responsibility to defend their security in Afghanistan now and to welcome those who are forced to flee their homes and seek refuge in the Bay Area.”
Manny Yekutiel, a San Franciscan of Afghan descent, recently applied his skills as a community space organizer (via his cafÃ© Manny’s) to organize an emergency brainstorming session with many other American Afghans. “We owe the Afghan people every effort to ensure their security and their future. The Bay region has its place in this effort,” he said.
Below is a partial list of other organizations and efforts to help our local Afghan community and those abroad. The situation is changing rapidly, so keep an eye out for new resources and information on the current situation.
Search the hashtag #saveourallies on social media for more organizations and updates.
Representative Swalwell represents California’s 15th District in East Bay, which has one of the largest Afghan populations in the United States. contact his office by email or locally at 510-370-3322.
His Castro Valley Office also set up an outside helpdesk this week, which saw long lines of people worrying about how to get their family members out of Afghanistan. His office can verify the status of a special immigrant visa or help start the process of obtaining one.
Council member Aisha Wahab de Fremont is a daughter of Afghan refugees and the first Afghan-American woman to be elected to public office in the United States. Wahab is also a board member of the Afghan Coalition, which provides a myriad of services that include mental health and help with domestic violence – issues that are particularly exacerbated in refugee communities.
Help Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) families start their lives in the Bay Area by donating to this fund organized by the International Rescue Committee. The funds will go to emergency temporary housing and rental support.
The organization has already hosted dozens of refugees and will increase this number to 100 in the coming weeks.
Interested parties can volunteer for airport transfers, ESL language support, assistance with social services enrollment, school enrollment, cash donations or purchase of household items from base for refugees when they settle.
The Marin County nonprofit aims to eliminate landmines and restore agricultural prosperity in war-affected countries. As Roots of Peace hires nearly 100% of its staff in the countries where it operates, 360 staff in Afghanistan need help evacuating. Donations are currently being used to help other internally displaced people (IDPs), such as purchasing and distributing emergency supplies like tents and milk.
The Fremont-based President of Operations for Children of War raises funds with a team. Over the past few days, they have been able to use funds to distribute emergency relief kits, hot meals, diapers, sanitary napkins, portable stoves and money for transport to families in Afghanistan. The GoFundMe page is frequently updated with how each new injection of funds is used.
This San Francisco organization provides immigration, community organizing, political education, other legal services, and language access, among its many services. He can help with family-based immigration petitions and tries to speed up processes for families who are currently seeking help from AROC.
Based in San Francisco, the 19-year-old organization envisions a more stable Afghanistan where public education is accessible and of high quality. He built two schools for girls and a school for boys in Afghanistan, and trained hundreds of teachers.
This public Facebook group is a hub for local and international news related to Afghanistan and local Afghan Americans. Use it as a clearinghouse for information, from meeting dates to links to affordable housing.
The organizer of the current GoFundMe, filmmaker and photographer Khyber Khan, is based in San Francisco. He organizes on behalf of Emergency relief Afghanistan. The most recent update to the organization’s Instagram account indicates that it successfully transferred some groups of displaced people to areas outside of Kabul a few days ago.
This viral Google docs contains ways to find your representatives in Congress, a phone script to use when you call them, a petition link to President Joe Biden to raise refugee caps, and other resources.
Organized from California City, Samira Hamidi represents Josh Volunteer Group. She said the group may need to change their giving strategies if the banks don’t reopen soon, instead giving money directly to the displaced.
A group of US veterans volunteers, aid groups and other activists raise funds for emergency air rescue missions from Kabul. Those rescued are seen as high-value targets of the Taliban, such as human rights lawyers, journalists, and women’s and LGBTQ + rights activists. Each mission costs $ 550,000, with a cost of $ 1,500 per person rescued. The campaign has currently raised over $ 5 million and will continue to add more missions if funding allows.
A global charity founded in Canada, HCI describes how every donation amount helps people on the ground in Afghanistan. From food packs to shelter packs, the organization focuses on immediate emergency needs as well as longer-term needs, such as permanent shelter on the road. HCI also has a Fund raising platform on Launch Good, as well.
This Texas-based non-profit organization provides humanitarian aid to underserved populations around the world. According to official Twitter account, humanitarian aid in Afghanistan is currently neither intercepted nor interrupted. The current goal is to provide food and hygiene products to families and individuals.
For the past 20 years, this New York and Afghanistan-based organization has worked for Afghan women to exercise their rights in order to pursue their individual potential for self-determination. It is currently working to evacuate its Afghan centers, ensure the safety of its staff and clients, and provide shelter and assistance.
UNHCR has long been known for its international humanitarian assistance. Fundraising efforts for Afghanistan are currently helping to provide emergency shelter, aid, food, medicine and clean water.
The global nonprofit, founded in Canada, is dedicated to helping LGBTQ + people facing persecution around the world. Same-sex relationships are criminalized in Afghanistan, so the organization’s underground work in the country is important. You can donate money, airline miles, actions, or even create a Settlement Team in Canada to welcome a newcomer.
Lonely Planet and The Points Guy team up to match cash donations of up to $ 20,000 to help refugees internationally. While many commercial flights for Afghan recipients have been canceled due to the Taliban takeover, the association is monitoring the situation closely to see how it can still help. Outside of Afghanistan, the organization continues to help migrants with legal authorization to escape war, persecution and disaster. You can donate airline miles, credit card points, or cash.
This article originally appeared on August 19 on TheSixFifty.com, a sister post to Palo Alto Online, covering what to eat, see and do in Silicon Valley.