After 20 years of war, the Taliban, an ultraconservative fundamentalist Islamic movement, has instated themselves in power in Afghanistan. This dramatic shift in power has caused chaos, violence and terror throughout Afghanistan as people attempt to flee the militant group threatening the safety of all Afghans, but in particular the female population. Though at Urban the crisis may feel far away, there are Bay Area and international organizations that offer a multitude of resources and ways to help with the current Afghanistan crisis. These sources are highlighted here for the purpose of education and to combat feelings of hopelessness.
Bay Area Specific Resources:
JFCS East Bay
Bio: The Jewish Family & Community Services organization is “rooted in Jewish values and historical experiences” and” according to their website has the mission of promoting “the well-being of individuals and families by providing essential mental health and social services”. In August, the organization resettled 80 Afghanistan refugees all across the East Bay and they plan to continue this rapid pace of resettling in September as well.
Ways to get involved: Donate to the organization. Although the fund is not specifically for Afghanistan refugees, donating can still enable JFCS to keep doing their important work for the Afghan community. Another way you can help is to purchase items from the wishlist of household items for refugees or sign up to volunteer to help with the resettling of refugees in the Bay Area
Donate: donation link
Wish List: wishlist link
Volunteer Form: volunteer form link
City of Fremont
Bio: The City of Fremont’s Human Services Department is currently gathering donations to help newly arriving refugees as well as people still trying to leave Afghanistan. They launched their Afghan Relief Fund in August. They started off small by providing aid for Afghan members of the Alameda community who were looking for visas for their family members in Afghanistan. While their program has grown more over the past months to include support for other areas of the Bay Area, their main focus is still on refugees coming to Alameda County.
Ways to get involved: Donate to the Afghan Relief Fund either online or by check
International Rescue Committee in Oakland (IRC)
Bio: The International Rescue Committee has been working in Afghanistan for over 30 years.The organization is dedicated to helping people whose “lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and regain control of their future.” They provide educational resources that can be key in truly understanding this conflict. The IRC has resettled more than 16,000 Afghan immigrants since 2014, over 9,500 of which are located in different cities across Northern California.
How to get involved: Donate to the Soft Landing Fund. The Soft Landing Fund offers housing assistance for refugees and 100% of your donation will go to these refugee families in need of help with rent and utilities.
Resettlement process article: informational article
Soft Landing Fund:
soft landing fund donation link
International Refugee Assistance Project
Bio: According to their website, the IRAP’s mission is to serve “the world’s most persecuted individuals” and to empower “the next generation of human rights leaders.” IRAP is working on bringing displaced Afghans to safety through a multitude of strategies. They have educational resources, legal resources, first-hand experiences and stories of refugees all of which can be found on the Afghanistan crisis section of their website.
How to get involved: Sign petitions! The IRAP has a petition entitled “Tell President Biden: Keep America’s Promise to Afghan Allies. Evacuate Them Now!” with a goal of 5,000 signatures. There is also a second petition entitled “The mission is not complete until all Afghan allies are safe” which also has a goal of 5,000 signatures. You can also make a donation to the organization (not a specific fund for Afghanistan).
Tell President Biden: Keep America’s Promise to Afghan Allies. Evacuate Them Now!
The Mission is Not Complete Until all Afghan Allies Are Safe
Donation to organization link