Two students hold a banner that says 'Refugees welcome'

7 October 2021

Afghan refugees are beginning their new lives in the UK. They have been forced to leave behind their homes and families and have been through traumatic experiences to get here. We are deeply concerned about the many now at risk and stand in solidarity with all Afghans, whether forced to flee or remaining in Afghanistan.

We know that the government is not doing enough to support these people to rebuild their lives in safety, while the Nationality and Borders Bill threatens to criminalise refugees and those who help them.

Here are actions you can take to welcome Afghan refugees in the UK right now.

1. Oppose the Nationality and Borders Bill

The Nationality and Borders Bill will significantly restrict the rights of refugees in the UK, including Afghans who are seeking safety. From 18-24 October, those who stand with refugees are coming together across the country to resist the bill.

Don’t miss our workshop on 19 October to learn why the bill is so dangerous and how we can stop it from becoming law. On 20 Oct, join us in Parliament Square to show the government we stand with refugees.

2. Sign a petition

Keep signing petitions. Here are a few to get you started. 

3. Share Afghan voices and spread the word 

  • Share an article on social media, or with your family and friends, about Afghan people’s individual experiences. Follow prominent Afghan voices, like Scottish Refugee Council CEO, Sabir Zazai, Director of Afghan Human Rights Foundation, Abdul Bastani, and author Gulwali Passarlay. Click here for some more accounts.
  • Send this template letter from IMIX to influential people and organisations in your community such as your council, MP, or religious leaders and ask them to sign it. The more signatures the better. Then, send the letter to a local newspaper to spread the word and build momentum for the cause.

4. Donate

  • Afghan Aid are responding with emergency assistance where needed and supporting families who have lost their homes and livelihoods as a result of the conflict.
  • You can also pledge your frequent flyer miles or credit card points through Miles for Refugees, who help resettle displaced people.
  • International Rescue Committee responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. 

5. Share our guide for students affected by the crisis in Afghanistan 

6. Donate items or volunteer your time

Charities like Care4Calais have collection points across the UK where you can take donations. At the moment, Care4Calais particularly requests:

  • good quality shoes and coats for adults and children
  • baby buggies and baby carriers
  • unlocked smartphones 

Help by grouping donations into labelled bags showing the size of items. Look at Care4Calais’ UK groups map to see if there is a group in your local area. If you’re in Scotland, take a look at Refuweegee. See if your local council also needs anything here.

7. Donate to STAR

STAR groups across the UK run community projects, from English conversation classes to football clubs, that welcome thousands of refugees to the UK, including those fleeing from Afghanistan. These projects create spaces of welcome, friendship, and solidarity in the hostile environment, cultivating intercultural connections and solidarity lasting well beyond the academic year.

8. Offer a spare room

Charities including Refugees at Home, Rooms for Refugees, and Reset UK exist to connect people with a spare room in their home to refugees and people seeking asylum in need of somewhere to stay. Many hosts report that it is a fantastic experience and have made lifelong friendships.

9. Inform yourself and others

Click here for a long-read explainer on the problems facing Afghan refugees in the UK from HOPE not hate.

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