Their Story Is Our Story (TSOS) is witnessing with alarm and concern the news and images from Afghanistan in recent days. We have developed a deep respect for our Afghan friends in the past 5 years as we have sat knee to knee and eye to eye with them and listened to their stories. We have been honored to share their accounts of survival, as they have fled death and violence, leaving family and possessions behind to seek peace and freedom elsewhere. Their stories are examples of strength, resilience and gratitude.
Now, as the militaries of western nations retreat, all Afghan citizens — those actively engaged in an effort to reform their country and those who do not support Taliban regime — find themselves and their families in grave danger. The future they have worked so long and hard for, and risk so much for, is vanishing before their eyes.
As fellow world citizens, now is time for action. We have a narrow window of opportunity to assist these brave men, women and children, as they embark on hard journey to safety. Here are a few ways you can support them:
Contact your elected representatives and urge them to act swiftly to remove those at risk from harm’s way and offer them a new home in a safe nation.
Find refugee resettlement agencies in your area who will soon be resettling Afghan refugees and volunteer your time and means to assist in their safe arrival and integration.
Listen to refugees and amplify their voices in your communities, media outlets, and in the halls of power by sharing their stories.
Their Story is Our Story stands with those suffering in Afghanistan. As we witness the clogged airport runways in Kabul we seek to clear the runways in our own communities and welcome our Afghan brothers and sisters as our new neighbors and friends.
Over the last year we have developed close relationships built on mutual trust with many of the families we help. We know their names, their personal stories, and individual needs. We are fully aware that our donations are only a temporary band aid for a larger problem. A bag of groceries only goes so far, and they will be back the following Saturday for more. Sometimes, though, we can make a bigger impact in someone’s life.
Selfies with friends. Shurooq and Sasha enjoy shopping together.
Suzanne Kaufman’s colorful illustrations are a delightful pair to Alaxandra Penfold’s narrative stating “all are welcome here,” no matter one's appearance or background.