Afghanistan: The local people helping refugees in the UK

1 month ago 14

By George Bowden
BBC News

image sourceOlivia's Closet

Lucy Dennis's doorbell has hardly stopped ringing. "About 50 Amazon boxes person conscionable turned up," she says. "It's been wholly overwhelming."

The parcels aren't the effect of a lavish spending spree. Instead, they incorporate conscionable immoderate of the donations paid for by members of the nationalist who person been moved to assistance aft the Taliban seized power of Afghanistan's capital, Kabul - prompting thousands of radical to fly the country.

Lucy, who runs a run radical called Help to Make Tummies Full that helps provender children successful her portion of the UK - and who has 3 children herself - decided to instrumentality enactment aft seeing images of Afghanistan connected the quality this month.

More than £2,000 worthy of goods person been delivered to her doorstep successful Walsall truthful acold - capable to make 48 jam-packed rucksacks for Afghan children owed to beryllium resettled successful the section area.

image sourceLucy Dennis

image captionLucy Dennis has created rucksacks for 48 Afghan children owed to beryllium resettled successful Walsall

With a database of ages and genders successful hand, Lucy acceptable astir tailor-making each container - each of which see caller socks, underwear, and things similar colouring books, pencils, toiletries, ablution gel and toothpaste.

"Every container is different," she says. An entreaty connected Facebook supercharged the operation. "Some radical person been making up their ain backpacks, others person buying things successful bulk for us, and others are connected the Amazon privation list. Every clip I cheque the database it's each been bought."

image sourceLucy Dennis

image captionLucy's rucksacks travel with donations of toys from Olivia's Closet, a section task that helps susceptible people

Fahim Zazai, who is besides organising donations successful Walsall, is ecstatic with the effect to his entreaty for help. "It's been truly good. It's been truly positive. Lots of radical person responded truly rapidly and truly positively," helium says.

Fahim runs the Afghan Community and Welfare Centre successful the West Midlands town. He arrived successful the UK from Afghanistan much than 20 years agone having fled the Taliban - wholly connected his ain and not speaking a connection of English. Now the 42-year-old is helping others marque the aforesaid journey.

"I came present with nothing. I cognize however hard it is to travel present not knowing the language, having nary friends, having nary support," helium says. "I'm stepping up to enactment these recently arrived families."

Now joined with 4 children, Fahim is appealing for donations of things similar clothing, household items specified arsenic cutlery and plates, and toys. "What they person is not enough," helium explains. "We're asking for definite items due to the fact that often they lone travel with their ain clothes."

image sourceFahim Zazai

image captionFahim Zazai runs an Afghan assemblage centre that has been inundated with offers of enactment successful caller days

Jayne Moorby, 44, has been volunteering with Furness Refugee Support, a unpaid radical successful Cumbria, for immoderate time. As the Taliban gained crushed successful Afghanistan, she was moved to donate to different organisation, Care4Calais, which is collecting items for refugees who person precocious arrived successful Manchester.

She shared a representation of her donations - including felt extremity pens, soap and toothpaste - connected Twitter, writing: "No-one chooses to beryllium a refugee, if immoderate of america were successful that presumption I anticipation we would get kindness and enactment successful gathering a caller life."

Pile of toiletries & children’s things acceptable to spell and assistance the Afghan refugees arriving successful the UK with nothing. No-one chooses to beryllium a refugee, if immoderate of america was successful that presumption I anticipation we would get kindness and enactment successful gathering a caller life.

— Jayne Moorby (@JayneMoobs) August 22, 2021

The BBC is not liable for the contented of outer sites.View archetypal tweet connected Twitter

The selling manager tells the BBC she believes archetypal impressions substance and that the UK should enactment retired a "message of welcome".

"It's been truly bully actually, connected societal media - and since I tweeted that representation - however galore radical person said they privation to donate clothes, oregon donate money," she says. "I conscionable privation to fto refugees cognize determination are radical present to invited them and enactment them."

image sourceJayne Moorby

image captionJayne Moorby says the effect connected societal media has been affirmative with galore offers of further donations

Retired societal idiosyncratic Annie Mellor has been renting retired a country successful the Plymouth location she shares with her hubby Pete connected Airbnb for a while. As events successful Afghanistan unfolded, she began exploring ways she could usage it to help.

The 65-year-old initially looked into letting retired the country to an Afghan pupil astatine the section university, but, aft uncovering retired determination were nary Afghans successful request there, she changed tack. Airbnb has offered to wage for accommodation for 20,000 Afghan refugees, with applications present unfastened worldwide to anyone with a spare room.

She explains her motivation: "My lad worked for an [non-governmental organisation] successful Afghanistan - moving to empower women there. I watched portion helium worked determination and had bombs going disconnected extracurricular his location and I realised what a unspeakable clip Afghan women were having."

"We've got an Airbnb that is successful our location - truthful they would devour and stock with america - but they would person their ain entrance, and en suite," she says. "If we don't get idiosyncratic from Afghanistan we person to commencement looking astatine different places - Syria is successful the aforesaid situation."

image sourcePete Senior

image captionAnnie, hubby Pete and dogs Jimi and Bowie are hoping to unfastened their location to a refugee

Louisa Whitehead works for the Charity Aid Recycling Enterprise - oregon Care UK - successful the North West, assisting refugees and asylum seekers housed successful impermanent accommodation.

Those arriving from Afghanistan astatine the infinitesimal are often portion of a ceremonial resettlement scheme. "For them, enactment and lodging volition beryllium recovered astir immediately," the 53-year-old says, adding that full families person been arriving together.

Louisa has conscionable got backmost from visiting Afghans who arrived present past week. She was joined by a unpaid - a section antheral who fled the Taliban much than 20 years agone - who speaks fluent Farsi.

"He was truthful insistent astir going, and it was due to the fact that helium wanted to archer them: 'It's OK you don't person to fearfulness them anymore'. To spot the look connected their faces erstwhile helium started speaking their language," she says.

She says the Afghans she met are each keen to work, larn and contribute. "The women are saying they privation to larn to drive, 1 pistillate wants to enactment successful a nursery due to the fact that that is what she was trained to do," she adds.

image sourceLouisa Whitehead

image captionLouisa assists refugees and asylum seekers successful impermanent accommodation crossed the North West

Nora Carlin, Care UK's main executive, says "everyone leaps forward" erstwhile a situation occurs, and Afghanistan is nary different.

She says the foundation has been "bombarded successful the past fewer days with offers of aid, help, money". "The British radical are stepping up again - and it's moments similar this I'm arrogant to beryllium British," she adds.

Lisa Doyle, the manager of advocacy astatine the Refugee Council, says the effect from the nationalist successful caller days has been "amazing".

"Communities up and down the state are coming unneurotic to enactment radical who person mislaid everything," she says. "It shows we are a caring federation who tin scope retired to those successful need."

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