Help resettle Afghans

IssueJune - July 2023
The Afghan Team from Mértola joining the new arrivals from Pakistan for Sunday lunch in the park in Leiria, Portugal. PHOTO: Leiria Barakat Project
News by Kathy Kelly, Sarah Ball

The remarkable generosity of activists around the world has enabled 40 young Afghans, some with families, to find safe refuge in countries including Portugal, Germany, Brazil, Canada, and the Netherlands.

We’re especially impressed by projects in Portugal where communities in two cities (Mértola and Leiria) have welcomed 25 young Afghans.

Our team of internationals now works closely with Asociación Yaran, a group of social workers, educators, and youth leaders in Galicia.

Vocational training will be co-ordinated by the Avada Sociedade Cooperativa Galega, a multidisciplinary team dedicated to education through organisation of summer camps, volunteer programs, language immersion projects, and sports events.

The Spanish government has indicated their willingness to grant 29 more Afghan friends student visas – but to secure the visas we must raise funds.

We are now appealing for $341,000 (£274,000) to cover airfare and one year of expenses for all 29 travellers.

Our young Afghan friends still waiting to go to a safe country have endured a great deal – the loss of their families and homeland and, for most, persecution due not only to their outspoken peace activism but to being Hazaras, a Shia ethnic minority long exposed to precarity in Afghanistan.