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For over a decade, Prosperity Candle has supported refugees around the world with a focus on women and families from war-torn countries. Through in-country programs such as Iraq, living wage employment after resettlement here in the U.S., donations to nonprofits and support of partner organizations, we have sought to help those most in need following a conflict.
The situation unfolding in Afghanistan has left us stunned, distraught and worried. Regardless of politics, the plight of millions of Afghans – especially women, children and the thousands who have helped and aligned themselves with the U.S. – cannot be ignored. We should continue to evacuate our allies and those fearing for their lives, and help Afghan refugees.
As Malala Yousafzai, the woman who the Taliban tried to kill when she was 15 years old for speaking out about the right for girls to go to school, recently wrote, we must help the Afghan people in this critical moment. Most importantly, we should “listen to the voices of Afghan women and girls. They are asking for protection, for education, for the freedom and the future they were promised.”
Below are a few suggestions for ways you can help. It is not a complete list, and we will endeavor to update this post as we learn more. In the meantime, Prosperity Candle is likewise making donations and researching ways to support organizations helping Afghan refugees.
1. International Rescue Committee
The IRC is providing critical support to Afghans both on the ground and abroad while appealing for additional emergency funding for aid and protection services. They encourage those who wish to help to donate and to urge national and world leaders to act.
2. Women for Women International
Women For Women International serves women survivors of war and conflict, providing them with social and economic skills to rebuild their families and communities. In Afghanistan, they support women’s mental and physical health, promote economic self-sufficiency, and help women know and defend their rights.
UNICEF works to promote and protect the rights of women and children in Afghanistan, extending to basic needs of nutrition, education and health services, as well as vast protection efforts. They remain committed to providing life-saving aid on the ground and continuing to support access to water, sanitation, and protection.
The following additional organizations are reprinted from a NY Times article entitled How to Help Afghan Refugees and the Relief Effort
Human Rights First is seeking pro bono lawyers to assist Afghan evacuees.
The International Refugee Assistance Project is soliciting donations to offer legal services to displaced Afghans.
The Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service is directing volunteers to its location-based sign-up page to assist Afghan refugees with travel from the airport, settling into their apartments or providing a meal.
Keeping Our Promise, based in Rochester, N.Y., offers resettlement services, including skilled trades training and accommodation support.
The International Medical Corps, which has operated in Afghanistan since 1984, offers medical training and services in the country and is soliciting donations to its emergency relief fund..
Commonwealth Catholic Charities, in partnership with community organizations, is providing resettlement services and child care to Special Immigrant Visa holders from Afghanistan in Fort Lee, Va.
The City of Fremont, Calif., home to a large population of Afghan immigrants, is collecting donations to support local charities providing essential items to newcomers.
New American Pathways, a nonprofit for resettlement based in Atlanta, is seeking volunteers to support Afghan refugees.
Women for Women International is collecting donations for its emergency relief fund.
Vital Voices, in partnership with Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security, has set up a fund to protect women’s rights activists in Afghanistan and those who have been evacuated from the country.
In addition to donating to one of the above organizations, you can also sign this petition from the IRC to urge for immediate safe passage for Afghan refugees to the U.S.
We will continue to add resources to this list as they become available and encourage you to share any in comments below. Prosperity Candle is also donating 100% of net proceeds site-wide through August 31st as a way raise awareness and boost direct donations.
Above Photo: a woman and her two children walking home from Prosperity Candle's project in Iraq
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