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Resources and Support for Our Afghan Community

*** Sent to ASF on September 9, 2021

Dear ASF, 

In August, we witnessed Afghan residents fleeing their country, crowding airports and escaping years of nonstop conflict. For many in the AAPI community, it brought back memories of refugees from the Vietnam War and many other conflicts, leaving for opportunities elsewhere. As the news coverage fades, refugees will need ongoing support as they start over in new countries around the world. Vietnam War refugees are helping to lead the support, remembering the assistance they received over 40 years ago.

We wanted to share the ways that you can help. Many of these resources were also shared in our Slack channel - please join if you haven’t already to access these resources in real time and share any new resources, events or other information as it happens.

  • The Center for South Asia has shared an extensive list of resources that are continuously updated on how you can help.
  • LIRS has also assembled a list of actions you can take to help our Afghan allies. LIRS has been helping refugees and migrants around the globe for over 80 years.
  • No One Left Behind is working to secure chartered flights and is the key organization helping to evacuate and resettle Afghans in the Special Immigration Visa (SIV) process. 
  • International Refugee Assistance Project is providing legal resources for Afghan refugees, including support for the SIV process and Afghan P-2 refugee program, plus resources for persons not eligible for visas.
  • The Afghan Coalition offers a variety of services, including domestic violence support, mental health support, cultural counseling, assistance with social services, job hunting, translation services and more. They’re located locally in Fremont, so folks could get involved directly with volunteering to support their efforts.
  • The JFCS-East Bay is looking for volunteers to support case managers with tasks such as airport pickups, signing refugees up for benefits, registering children for school, and many more services. They also have set up an Amazon wish list for items they need to support families - they assisted 77 refugees in August, and anticipate at least that many in September.
  • Airbnb is sponsoring a program in which people could offer refugees a place to stay while they look for permanent placement. Folks could either serve as hosts or donate directly to support the program.
  • Donate:
    • Women for Women has set up a fund to support Afghan women
    • LIRS will provide food, housing assistance and support other basic needs as Afghans wait for official services.
    • Local organizations to support refugees who resettle in the Bay Area:
      • The City of Fremont will work with local Afghan partner organizations to determine the priorities and needs of those new arrivals to our Country. Funds will be used for housing, food, clothing, and other items or services to assist refugees expected to arrive in our area. 
      • The International Rescue Committee - Oakland’s soft landing fund will be disbursed to cover emergency temporary housing as well as rental & utility assistance to support evacuee families stabilizing.

As you come across additional resources, please feel free to share in our Slack channel.

In solidarity,

Asian Staff Forum