Help the Afghani Refugees – Save the Date
A Christmas sale in aid of Afghani Refugees is being planned. It will be held in Droxford Church on Tuesday 9th November – watch this space for further details.
As they flee the current situation, many more people are becoming displaced. How can we support them?
Help for Afghan refugees
Having seen the desperate plight of those trying to leave Afghanistan in the wake of the Taliban takeover, you and your congregations may be keen to find ways to help. Huge numbers of refugees have left the country over the past few weeks, and there may be thousands more over the coming years. Only a small fraction of them will end up in the UK, but our call as God’s people is to welcome the stranger. The national Church of England has put together a ‘toolkit’, which describes the situation and offers practical ways to help. You can read that here.
You may also be interested in supporting some local organisations that can specifically help Afghan refugees and asylum seekers who settle in this area. Here’s a list of ways in which you can do so:
- Portsmouth Diocesan Fund for Asylum Seekers and Refugees: The Diocese is creating creating a fund to help those who can support refugees and asylum seekers, working with partner organisations such as the Rural Refugee Network, Hope into Action, Friends Without Borders and the British Red Cross, – the latter two jointly run a drop-in centre in All Saints Church, Portsmouth, for asylum seekers and refugees. These organisations have vast experience in helping people practically, emotionally and legally. The Diocese will work with them to get any funds you raise to the right place, specifically to help in areas such as housing for Afghans who are seeking to resettle in this area. If your parish would like to make donations to this fund, click here for further details.
- Direct support: Our parishes are, of course, very welcome to make direct payments to the Rural Refugee Network, Hope into Action, Friends Without Borders, and the British Red Cross, without going through the diocesan fund. Many national organisations are also raising funds, including Oxfam, Save the Children and Christian Aid – see below for more information about Christian Aid’s work in this area.
- Donations of goods: Our congregations may wish to collect specific household items that will help those people who are offered accommodation in Hampshire. Community First in Hampshire are asking for donations including nappies, coats, clothing, underwear, blankets, adults shoes, mobile phone chargers and new or refurbished laptops to help families keep in touch with loved ones. More details are here.
- Foster carers: those children who are unaccompanied refugees and asylum seekers may need carers to foster them. If you are in a position to help, do contact your local authority foster team, in Hampshire, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight.
- Become informed: these issues are complex, and there is often understandable confusion, even in our church congregations, about why and how support is given to those who arrive in the UK from other countries. Use the material in the Church of England toolkit, to share key facts and theological reasons for being involved, check out the government website and the Portsmouth City of Sanctuary website. Do consider whether your congregation can campaign on these issues, using some of the resources available.
- Pray: you will, of course, already have been praying for the situation in Afghanistan, and for the safety of all those at risk. Do continue to use the prayer resources available from organisations such as Christian Aid, Open Doors and the Church of England in your worship services, prayer meetings and private devotions.
Already this year, approximately 550,000 people have become displaced, in addition to the 2.9 million Afghans already internally displaced at the end of 2020, as a result of decades of conflict.
So far, our partners have been able to offer help by distributing food and hygiene kits.
However, the current events we see in Afghanistan only exacerbate the already existing problems which the Afghan people face – food insecurity, poverty, Covid – and make the need for further humanitarian assistance more vital.
In regions where famine is likely, we’re supporting thousands of Afghan internally displaced people (IDPs) through a hunger appeal launched in July.
Support the Afghan people through giving
The events currently unfolding mean the Afghan people need our support more than ever. Please donate to our Global Hunger Emergency Appeal.
Support the Afghan people through campaigning
Join with us in calling on the UK Government to support people in Afghanistan, their neighbouring countries, and to welcome those seeking refuge in the UK.
‘The situation is dire… but we won’t desert now’
Subrata De, Christian Aid’s country manager in Afghanistan, says:
‘The situation is dire and more support will be required for poor and marginalised communities in the coming days. Christian Aid has been working in Afghanistan for thirty years and we will not desert now.
We’re doing all we can to continue distributions of food and emergency supplies to the most affected communities.
We hope that humanitarian access will remain, especially access to women and girls in the communities as we are very concerned about their safety.’