GLASGOW Afghan United (GAU) has today launched its first ever crowdfunder as it supports new arrivals who have fled the Taliban.
Interpreters who aided British forces are amongst the refugees brought to Scotland as a result of the power switch that took place in Afghanistan last month. Hundreds of people have been given sanctuary here, including many families with young children, and all have experienced frightening and traumatic experiences.
Since forming in 2004, GAU has never experienced such high levels of need. This includes from recently arrived people who need help with integration and overcoming trauma, and from the established community which is experiencing significant stress and anxiety related to the friends and family who could not get out before the UK evacuations ended.
All deserve the culturally-sensitive, multi-lingual help we can provide.
In just one day, our organisation received a record 150 calls and messages seeking help. We expect this rate of need to continue for at least two years as the UK begins transfers through the planned Afghan Citizen’s Resettlement Scheme.
So we’ve now opened our first ever crowdfunder. All donations will be used to cater for our growing community, providing language support, increasing the capacity of our multi-lingual school, offering more sports and activity sessions and enlarging our vital Women’s Empowerment Project to give targeted help for women and girls, who can face many barriers to inclusion.
GAU director Abdul Bostani said: “We are so grateful for the many offers of donated clothing and goods we’ve received from the Scottish people, who have shown how much they care about the Afghan people by opening their hearts once again. These items go to help people start again, but it takes more than this to begin a successful new life.
“Our services for men, women and children can help people get back on their feet, overcome the terrible experiences they’ve been through and, crucially, use their many talents and experience to thrive in Scotland. People tell us they want to achieve and give back to the country – we can help them do that by providing English, education, employability and empowerment support.
“This Afghan crisis is far from over and it has touched all of us. Many of us have close family trapped under the Taliban, myself included. We also need to ensure these members are catered for and have a safe, trusted space to work on mental health and wellbeing.
“Many people have asked us what they can do to help Afghans. Our crowdfunder gives them the chance to help Afghans right here in Scotland. Giving a little will go a long way.
“Scotland welcomed me when I arrived as a refugee as a young man. We are working to ensure other people get that same welcome. I know they will love Scotland as much as I do.”