You might have seen the news that the first 29 queer people from Afghanistan have arrived in the UK. If you have missed it, here is some coverage from Reuters and The Guardian. Since then, another group has arrived safely to the UK. We are proud that the UK Government was able to coordinate this operation. We are also proud that the UK Government has agreed to resettle LGBTQI people from Afghanistan as a priority as they are vulnerable people, in addition to women and girls at risk and ethnic and religious minorities.
We hope that more LGBTQI people will find safety in the UK. We also hope that more Governments around the world will step up their support for LGBTQI people not only in Afghanistan but also in many other countries around the world where we risk our lives.
Every year we work with hundreds of LGBTQI people fleeing persecution. We are the specialist organisation in the UK that supports integration of LGBTQI refugees holistically. However, the Afghanistan emergency is testing our capacity which was already stretched due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We are receiving many requests for help but also many enquiries from the general public (THANK YOU!) asking how they can help.
Here is what you can do:
- Become an ally. By doing so you will support us to:
- Run a helpline in Pashto/Dari to support LGBTQI people from Afghanistan over the next four years
- Employ an outreach officer who speaks Pashto/Dari and who can do one-to-one case work to help people integrate into British society
- Run safe houses for LGBTQI people fleeing persecution.
- Make a one-off donation. By doing so you will support us to:
- Buy winter clothes, care packages, sanitary products and much more
- Tackle digital poverty: providing mobile data and phones
- Hire extra Pasto/Dari translation services as needed.
- If you are a counsellor, join our register of volunteer counsellors, just email [email protected]. We require a minimum of one hour a week for a year to support a queer refugee from Afghanistan or other countries.
- If you speak Pashto or Dari, join our team of volunteer translators; just email [email protected].
We are facing a humanitarian crisis where the most vulnerable are once again risking their lives. At times we feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of the need for our services. Other times we feel distraught knowing that the majority of LGBTQI people will not be fortunate enough to leave Afghanistan. However, we also feel privileged that we can play a small role in their journey to safety and we are grateful to know that you have our back all the time. We could not do this work without your support, thank you.