The closing stanzas of Somali-British poet Warsan Shire‘s “What They Did Yesterday Afternoon” are, too often, painfully current:
i held an atlas in my lap
ran my fingers across the whole world
where does it hurt?
For the past couple of weeks, the answer to Shire’s poetic question has been Afghanistan and Haiti — both nations shaken, figuratively and literally (respectively), by events that will likely have long-lasting repercussions.
Between 2009 and 2019, 72 Haitians and Haitian-entrants granted refugee status have settled in Pennsylvania, according to the Commonwealth’s Department of Human Services. During the same span, 910 Afghan refugees have made Pennsylvania their home.
While Afghanistan and Haiti are experiencing quite different challenges at the moment, people in our area are trying to figure out how they can help, and where they should donate to support folks in either, or both nations.
So we turned to our Generocity community for help in compiling this selected resource list — which includes local, national and international efforts. Like all such lists, it is a work in progress. If you would like to recommend additions to it, please email us.
“I’m a big fan of Women for Afghan Women,” Generocity community member Hannah McIntire said, “and would recommend contributing to their grassroots work in Afghanistan on the ground supporting women and women’s rights.”
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“I found these resources through [Nonprofit AF] Vu Le’s most recent blog post,” wrote Abby Rolland from the Presser Foundation. “You may have already seen them, but they helped with directing my giving.” The emergency resource list for Afghanistan that Rolland forwarded includes 20 organizations that the Afghan American Foundation considers “established, vetted and reputable.” You can access that list here.
From our friends at the Solutions Journalism Network, comes a reminder that the Afghan Journalists Safety Committee is working to save the lives of Afghan journalists under imminent danger. Donations go to providing shelters and safehouses; food, clothes, blankets and other utilities for journalists and their families; and ongoing support to ensure independent media outlets may continue publishing. Donate here.
Citizens Diplomacy International Philadelphia, which has worked with 28 Afghan participants in the International Visitors Leadership Program in the past five years, requested via the organization’s emailed newsletter that people donate to Philadelphia’s refugee-serving Nationalities Service Center and HIAS Pennsylvania — “two organizations that regularly host our international visitors and are welcoming Afghan refugees.”
In fact, Daniella Scruggs from HIAS Pennsylvania let us know that they, Nationalities Service Center, and Bethany Christian Services, three of the City’s refugee resettlement agencies, along with the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs are holding an event standing with the local Afghan community this Sunday, August 22 at 5 p.m. at Tarken Recreation Center in Northeast Philadelphia.
The purpose of the event is to stand in solidarity, and to advocate for safe travel and expedited processing for those fleeing persecution. The event will feature remarks and a prayer from community leaders, and is free and open to the public.
Also In Philadelphia, Afghan Organization of Philadelphia is organizing a Philadelphia March for Afghanistan on August 28 at City Hall.
Join the Philadelphia March for Afghanistan (hosted by Afghan Organization of Philadelphia) – August 28th at 11 AM on the NE Corner of City Hall. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org or aopxsola on Instagram pic.twitter.com/HgCRHRQRF6
— CAIR-Philadelphia (@CAIR_PA) August 18, 2021
Rolland also sent Generocity a link adminstered by Public Good, to donate to any of 29 large nonprofits providing relief to Haiti. They range from Airlink, a nonprofit that provides airlifts of emergency supplies and relief workers for 130+ aid organizations responding to disasters, to Hope for Haiti. Use Public Good’s donation tool.
There are also a number of local efforts.
Thank you to Marilyn Kai Jewett for forwarding us information about Crayons for Haiti, which is asking for donations through August 26, and is fundraising for a trip to distribute the donations. For more information, visit the nonprofit’s Facebook page here.
Philadelphia’s Haitian American Chamber of Commerce has a GoFundMe to help them send a support team to Haiti. According to the GoFundMe narrative, the organization intends to help rebuild some houses, bring mental health and support groups to work with grieving families, extend monetary support to families with school age children, and offer some medical and health care. As this post goes live on our website, the organization has raised around $15,000 of its $500,000 goal.
Philadelphia’s Haitian American Chamber of Commerce is raising money to send a supply/support team to Haiti: https://t.co/lBNTkHiy7i
— Liz Spikol (@lspikol) August 19, 2021
As we get notice of other local efforts to support Afghanistan and Haiti, we will add to this list.-30-
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