Afghanistan has fallen to the Taliban at a speed that appears to have surprised everyone. The impact of that is a very frightening prospect for the Afghan people and especially for women and girls. Very much on our mind are those who are unable to leave, but also those who have left and have had to abandon their homes, communities and possibly even families.
Our hearts particularly go out to those craftspeople whom we have had the honour of working with through our brand partner, ISHKAR, who have no doubt been either displaced or had to cease their work. We have removed all reference to the individual artisans to protect their identities. As ISHKAR are deeply knowledgeable about the region and have long-standing relationships there we are being led by them on what is the most effective, supportive action that we can take.
ISHKAR are currently raising funds for EMERGENCY hospitals to provide free healthcare. Via a combination of selling photographic prints showing scenes by some of the world’s most distinguished photographers and by taking donations they’ve so far raised £75,000 and are hoping to make it £100,000, which will be approximately enough fund one of EMERGENCY’s rural health care clinics for three years.
We encourage you to help by buying one of their prints, making a donation and sharing their appeal. You will also help, though less directly, by purchasing an ISHKAR item that has been created by deeply skilled Afghan artisans.
Closer to home you can help refugees arriving into the UK via the Refugee Council, the Afghanistan and Central Asian Association, Care4Calais, Choose Love and City of Sanctuary. You can also create very important support by open-heartedly welcoming the imminent influx of displaced Afghans who will be arriving in the UK and into our communities. We cannot even imagine the torment that these people are experiencing.