Young Afghan activists

IssueApril - May 2023
News by Kathy Kelly

Following the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, an ad hoc team of internationals began regular Zoom meetings, co-ordinating efforts to assist Afghan activists who, for security reasons, have asked that we not name them or their group.

The inspiring efforts of young Afghans to share resources, seek equality, protect the planet and abolish all war, along with their willingness to host Western visitors, has sadly jeopardised their lives.

Mutually beneficial relationships have developed over the past 18 months leading to some very good news.

From among the former volunteers: six of the activists are now in Germany; six are in Brazil, five are in Canada, one young woman has joined her spouse in the Netherlands, eight (including one infant!) have been in Portugal since spring 2022 and, on 18 February, 17 more young Afghans (including one infant!) arrived in Portugal.

Last year, our team of internationals worked with young Afghans in Pakistan to set up a safe space which housed young people awaiting visas to Portugal.

Two flats have been rented and furnished and soon the young people who are living there will welcome 13 new housemates.

We are hoping it will be possible for all of them to obtain student visas to Spain.

In the past year, our group of internationals has appealed to a broad base of donors spanning several continents to raise funds covering visas to Pakistan, temporary housing in Pakistan and airfare to another country.

Now, looking toward northern Spain as a possible destination for young friends facing precarity and desperation in Afghanistan, we welcome your support.