Saturday 27 November 2021

Afghan refugee crisis – What can you do to help?

Afghan children. Photo: Pixabay

Following the Taliban coup in August and forty years of conflict in Afghanistan, there are now an estimated six million displaced Afghans. 

If you are wondering how you can help, here are a few ideas.

Donate

The simplest way to help is to make a donation to fund existing projects supporting the needs of Afghans inside and outside Afghanistan and helping to create a safe passage for Afghans endangered by the new regime.

The Red Cross is helping to protect the basic human rights of Afghans affected by the war or detained in Afghanistan, and improve the provision of clean water, health care, and sanitation in the country.

The UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) provides critical emergency assistance to displaced people and supports their integration when they resettle. There is also a Dutch branch.

KEIHAN builds a bridge between Dutch and Afghan culture. It supports the education of Afghans in the Netherlands and Afghanistan and facilitates the integration of Afghans starting a new life in the Netherlands.

Take in a temporary lodger

Takecarebnb works in partnership with refugee organisations in the Netherlands and the ministry of justice and security to connect refugees in need with host families able to take in a lodger for three months. They are also seeking volunteer ‘matchmakers’ to help with this process.

Gastgezin voor een vluchteling (Host family for a refugee) was founded in 2016 in response to an influx of refugees in Apeldoorn and the city’s mixed reaction to it. Wherever you live in the Netherlands, you can sign up to offer your spare room to a refugee in need of temporary accommodation.

Volunteer

Utrecht-based UAF, which supports refugee students and professionals, is looking for people to mentor newcomers, while VluchtelingenWerk have a webpage where you can type in your postcode to see what they need help with in your area.

If you have Tech and IT expertise, you can share it with refugees at Hackyourfuture.

In Amsterdam, the gemeente has collated a list of ways to volunteer, from offering Dutch conversation to organising a sports event.

Translate or interpret

Speakers of Dari and Farsi are in high demand. Contact NL Voor Elkaar or VluchtelingenWerk Nederland to find out more.

Offer an internship

Are you a business which could take on an intern or offer training? New Bees and Refugee Start Force can help match you with a refugee looking to gain professional experience.

Become a language coach

Helping newcomers build up proficiency in Dutch can make a real difference. Many towns have their own language programmes or coffee and conversation sessions, often in local libraries.

Taal aan Zee are recruiting Dutch teachers and so is Zwijndrecht Voor Elkaar, while Bergum AZC (asylum centre) is looking for people to teach English.

Sign a petition

Vluchtelingen Werk Nederland are calling on the Dutch government to revise its asylum policy and support the safe passage of displaced Afghans with this petition.

Azadi, a movement of young Afghans in the Netherlands who organised the recent Amsterdam demonstration for Afghanistan, are petitioning the government to halt the extradition of Aghans, bring Afghans stranded in the Moria refugee camp on Lesbos to the Netherlands, evacuate all Afghans who are at risk from the Taliban and reclassify Afghanistan as an unsafe country.

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