Afghans have a long and respected role in the development of Australia, particularly the inland trade routes. The role of the Afghan camel trains in early transport is remembered in the name of the Ghan railway, now a luxury railway service on the North-South route from Adelaide to Darwin. Afghans have continued to contribute in many ways to Australian society over the past 200 years.
Australia's involvement in Afghanistan during recent decades is well documented. Afghan's and Australian's have worked together in attempting to return Afghanistan to a free and democratic society following years of war and tyranical rule. During this time Australian soldiers, diplomats, and aid workers have been supported by local Afghan people working in government roles, as interpreters, as office staff, and any number of other positions. There were 196 local embassy staff from Kabul alone.
Unfortunately the efforts of twenty years have come to an abrupt and unexpected turning point that has left the people who assisted Australian workers in fear of their lives and livelihoods. A number of these people have been able to leave Kabul by aircraft, but many are still in Afghanistan and will no doubt attempt to get out via other borders.
Over the coming months many of these Afghans will begin arriving in Australia to start a new life as so many others have done before them.
Through our partners we are planning to provide some capacity for delivery of welfare and advocacy for these people to help the get settled into their lives in Australia. There may be a need for short to medium term accomodation of Afghan refugee families in coming months. The COVID situation is going to present some challenges to government in finding housing. Our team has discussed the use of institutional buildings, of the kind found in defence, hospital and religious properties. The needs of the beneficiaries are fairly simple; I think in most cases they will be able to take care of themselves with a little guidance from their hosts.
We are collecting funds to assist Afghan Refugees- Can you Help?
Funds donated to our necessitous circumstance fund for "Afghan Refugees" will be used to assist with small handouts to refugees in necessitous circumstance to help them with immediate needs while they await medium term assistance and ultimately get themselves estalished in Australia. The funds would be used in ways such as giving $100 vouchers to allow the purchase of small items, toiletries, general items they may not have been able to bring with them. Just for the embassy staff this would amount to about $20,000. If enough money is raised we will also seek to assist with the short-term housing and other needs mentioned above.
Please help by donating through the Paypal link below - Credit Cards accepted
or send your cheque or money order to:
MSC Mission Office
PO Box 177
Kensington NSW 1465
All donations are tax deductable.
Meanwhile, the video link below may be of interest. It was sent to us about Mahboba Rawi’s orphanage in Kabul.