We are a group of people who worked with incredible Afghan colleagues in the British Embassy Kabul and Provincial Reconstruction Team in Helmand Province over 20 years. We are asking our friends to help us welcome approximately 50 Afghan colleagues and their families to the UK, after the devastating events of the last few weeks.
Of those who have arrived already, many have nothing. You will have seen the difficult journey that our friends had to make just to get to the airport and board a plane to get themselves and their families to safety. They could only bring one small bag, with banks closed and bank accounts frozen. Many have children to support and have never even visited the UK before. Our colleagues include translators, advisors and security guards who all risked their lives to support us, the UK Government and the international effort.
One of our colleagues, who arrived a few weeks ago, sent this message from his hotel: ‘The last few weeks in Afghanistan have been devastating for me, my family and my fellow Afghans. Every moment we think of our friends and family at home, and those who were unable to leave. I appreciate the opportunity to be in the UK, and I hope you can support the embassy families who are arriving.’
We are raising £40,000 for direct assistance to around 50 families we know in the coming weeks. They will need clothes, school items and toys for their children and more. Your contributions will go directly to Afghan evacuees and be responsibly distributed.
As a group we are also delivering care packages to quarantine hotels, providing advice and seeking to work with charities offering resettlement assistance to the families. We hope you'll consider supporting your local refugee charity and you can find advice on how to do that from the Refugee Council here.
If we raise funds above the target we will disburse these through a mix of onward donations to relevant charities and further direct assistance to families where appropriate. The Oasis Charitable Trust, a charity with 35 years of experience, is assisting us with the management of the funds.
Thank you for any help you can give.
Read more about the situation here.