URGENT ASSISTANCE FOR AFGHAN REFUGEES

We did it
On 3rd September 2021 we successfully raised £35,870 with 487 supporters in 14 days

Please help the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association in its response to the refugee crisis that has been unfolding in Afghanistan.


Started on 20th August 2021 Griffin Centre, Staines Rd, Feltham TW14 0HS, UK

Updates 2


Emma Pearce posted an update on 10th October 2021

A thank you from our director and read about our next steps

DONATE HERE

'Thank you very much for the generosity, sympathy and solidarity shown to the people of Afghanistan at this very tragic and important time' - Dr Nooralhaq Nasimi, ACAA Founder and Director

We are so overwhelmed and thankful for your donations to our fundraiser. The ACAA has found itself in an unprecedented situation with the number of new arrivals and the extent of their needs. We have been stretching to meet the humanitarian needs of a few thousand of the new refugees, while also using our expertise and volunteer translators to advise other charities. But with the money raised so far, we will be able to expand our services in a sustainable way and meet the scale of this challenge. So for that we are incredibly grateful. 

Welcome Events

We are now keeping the fundraiser open for a little while longer so that we can raise another £10,000 to host welcome events for the new arrivals at 'bridging hotels' where refugees are housed in London. Thousands of Afghans are still living in bridging hotels while they wait for permanent accommodation and we are very concerned by how much families are struggling with their mental wellbeing and basic needs. Many families have not even received the £40 a week they’re entitled to from the government and without being in permanent accommodation children are not able to start school. Most of all though, they say that they worry about friends and family back home and miss the country they have been forced to leave behind. 

In hosting the welcome events, we hope to give people a break from their worries, where they can eat Afghan food, listen to Afghan music, feel at home, and hear inspiring stories from Afghan refugees who have built lives in the UK. It will also be a chance to help them in the long term by giving them a chance to hear about the support that’s available to them from ACAA, other frontline charities and local councils. This way we hope that that no one will slip through the net. Finally, we hope that speaking to them face to face and hearing about the challenges they are facing will help us to support them in the right ways.

Thank you again for our support and please follow our twitter, facebook, or instagram if you would like to stay up to date on our work.

DONATE HERE

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Emma Pearce posted an update on 13th October 2021

1 week left to donate - please keep sharing the ACAA's crowdfunder!

Hi,

Thank you again so much for your support. Please could we ask you to share the link of our crowdfunder now with anyone you know who may like to support this work too?

https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/afghancrisisfund

Every donation helps and we have a massive opportunity to really help people at one of the hardest times in their lives now.

Nearly 450 people have donated nearly £32,000 already, our target is £40,000 and the crowdfunder closes in seven days (on October 20th). 

Please see below for some extra information.

Hugest thanks again on behalf of everyone at the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association

___

We are asking everyone we know if they can share the link so we are able to do as much as we can to help the newly arrived refugees in the bridging hotels in London. 

If you go to the crowdfunder page (https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/afghancrisisfund), you will see a video update that Dr Nasimi, Director of Afghanistan and Central Asian Association has just recorded. As you may know, he fled Afghanistan and claimed asylum in the UK as a refugee. He set up the charity based on what was missing from his experience when he was resettling and integrating. 

There are now thousands of newly arrived refugees from Afghanistan in the bridging hotels in London and we are delivering services directly into the hotels and starting to work with the London councils. Please see the crowdfunder site for more detail.

Thank you again so very much!

This crowdfunder is now closed. Thank you very much to everyone for your donations and kind messages of support. If you would still like to donate please visit our donate page directly, or find it on our website, along with information about our work, at acaa.org.uk

*****

UPDATE, 16th September:

We are overwhelmed with the generous donations that we have raised so far and thank everyone who has donated and sent kind messages. We are looking to expand the charity's services to meet the needs of the newly arrived Afghan community in the coming months and years and so have increased our target. Any money that is raised will go directly towards projects which provide support and integration services for newly arrived Afghans in the UK, or which continue our resettlement advocacy for vulnerable people in Afghanistan. If you would like to donate to our unrestricted funds, please visit our website and go to the 'donate' button.

Our Amazon wishlist, where you can buy real items and gift cards for new Afghan refugees, is still in operation. In the last few weeks, we have increasingly been working in partnership with humanitarian organisation to distribute these items, along with other donations, to hotels around London (see this Guardian article for more details). For inquiries about making physical donations please email [email protected] or check our social media pages to see what we need. Please note, we are only accepting donations of new/ unused items, with a few exceptions.

While our office is no longer inundated with the arrivals of those fearful about friends and relatives in Afghanistan to the same level as in August, our advocacy work for the resettlement and safety of Afghans who are eligible for or already possess resettlement visas is ongoing. When the resettlement scheme opens we will almost certainly see a significant increase in demand for this service, which we hope to be able to meet with your support.

*****

'This place has become the focal point for London's Afghan community. For days, hundreds have turned up here getting news from relatives in Afghanistan, queueing to do their best to get them out' - Carl Mercer, reporting for BBC London News (26th August)

With the Taliban having swept to power once again in Afghanistan after 20 years, many Afghans are attempting to flee for their lives. In particular, women and Afghans from minority ethnic groups as well as those who have been human rights defenders, journalists, and politicians, know that they and their families face certain violent persecution under Taliban rule. While the UK media has frequently raised the possibility that the Taliban have ‘changed’, the Afghan people know that they have only become more strategically-minded, waiting for the full withdrawal of foreign troops before carrying out atrocities on those they perceive to have betrayed them. It is already being reported that the Taliban is carrying out a systematic programme of identification and registration of the population as a tool of repression and persecution of its targets. This makes the resettlement of refugees to the UK an urgent matter of life or death.  

ACAA Resettlement work

The small number of ACAA staff and many, many volunteers have been working tirelessly and on an unprecedented scale to organise resettlement for Afghans trying to reach the UK. People have arrived from across the country to seek resettlement for their loved ones stuck in Afghanistan. Despite their hard work, however, the charity is still overwhelmed by the number of cases that need to be addressed, with crowds of people queueing outside from as early as 6am. In order to sustain this work the ACAA needs extra funding for food and refreshments for its volunteers as they work at the office round the clock, as well as the equipment needed to carry out the work. The money raised could also fund further staff salaries to meet the number of people urgently trying to reach safety. 

The vital work of the ACAA at this time in pursuing resettlement cases and as a focal point for the Afghan community has been highlighted in recent days by Sky News, BBC Breakfast (see above) and BBC London News, among many others. The ACAA has been supporting the Afghan diaspora in the UK and championing human rights in Afghanistan for 20 years. They need your help now more than ever to meet the scale of this crisis.

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Providing humanitarian assistance

Under the UK resettlement programme for those who assisted the British army, many Afghan refugees have already arrived in the UK. In the chaos of recent weeks they have left often with the bare minimum of personal possessions and are lacking basic needs such as food, clothing and other essential supplies. It is uncertain whether the banking system in Afghanistan will remain functional under the Taliban and people may lose everything. 

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About the ACAA

The Afghanistan and Central Asian Association was founded by Dr Nooralhaq Nasimi, who fled Afghanistan in 1999 and came to the UK seeking asylum with his family. Since it was founded in 2001, the ACAA’s mission has been to reduce the isolation felt by the refugee community and to promote and secure human rights in Afghanistan itself. Its key services are its ESOL for integration classes, its legal advice clinic, and its women’s project, which promotes women’s rights and a safe space for women refugees. In addition to this, the ACAA is a community centre, through which Afghans living in London are able to make connections, celebrate their culture and feel a sense of belonging. In 2018, the ACAA was awarded the Queens Award for its services to the community. The ACAA has recently been operating grassroots human rights and legal advice centres in Afghanistan, run by Afghans. This work has attempted to promote Afghan empowerment and a sustainable charitable sector in the country in the context of the dominance of large foreign NGOs.

Activity


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Anne Stevens pledged £30 + an est. £7.50 in Gift Aid
20th October 2021 at 9:11pm
SS
Simon Sellens pledged £40 + an est. £10.00 in Gift Aid
20th October 2021 at 7:42pm
JW
Jacky Willett commented

Happy to help.

20th October 2021 at 7:42pm
JW
Jacky Willett pledged £25 + an est. £6.25 in Gift Aid
20th October 2021 at 7:41pm
SS
Susan Stone pledged £25 + an est. £6.25 in Gift Aid
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Jane Bunting pledged £25 + an est. £6.25 in Gift Aid
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KR
Karen Ross commented

Fully support everything you are doing

20th October 2021 at 4:55pm
KR
Karen Ross pledged £50 + an est. £12.50 in Gift Aid
20th October 2021 at 4:54pm
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Anonymous pledged £20 + an est. £5.00 in Gift Aid

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20th October 2021 at 1:10pm

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