The events in Afghanistan, and the implications that the Taliban rule will have on women and girls, are extremely worrying. Access to education and employment opportunities are just the start of the problems.
***** UPDATE! We did it! Here's the instagram post to prove it.
So we thought we'd try to do something about it. Stephanie and I are going to do a 100 km bike ride in aid of Afghanischer Frauenverein (Afghan Women's Association).
About the Ride - Saturday 28th August
The Radbahn Münsterland is a cycle path in Northern Germany. It follows an old railway line, from Coesfeld to Rheine - with Steinfurt (where we live) right in the middle. So we plan to cycle the whole thing twice - from the middle to one end and home again, and then to the other end and home again. This will be a total of 100 km, and we get to have lunch at home!
The Afghan Women's Association have been working in Afghanistan since 1992. They work in remote areas to provide life necessities like clean water to drink, as well as providing education opportunities. All whilst ensuring local people are involved, the projects are run by 190 local people. They are a registered organisation in Germany.
Right now they are focusing on emergency response.
We're aiming to raise €/£500 to support people who are now displaced. You can read more about this fund-raising project here, but here is an extract:
"244,000 people, most of them women with small children, have been fleeing the escalating violence in the country since the withdrawal of international troops from Afghanistan in May 2021 and are desperately seeking protection between the fronts. On August 10th alone, 20,000 refugees from the disputed areas of Kunduz, Baglan, Tachar and Badachschan reached the city of Kabul. Most of them have been able to save nothing but the clothes they wear. Everything is missing: drinking water, food, shelter, hygiene options, protection and medical care."
We have met people who fled exactly for the reasons we are now seeing. And our friends from Afghanistan have shared with us how scared they are for remaining friends and family members, as well as how sad they are for their country.
But we are both excited to be doing something, as well as having an adventure. I've never cycled that far in one day. And our longest training ride was just over 50 km, so it will certainly be a challenge.
Please donate to this excellent organisation.
You can do so via THIS LINK. And then we'd love it if you posted a comment here to let us know and wish us luck. We aren't able to track the donations directly, so if you fancied letting us know how much you donated so that we can feel smug, that would be great too.
If you are in the UK, you can also sigh THIS PETITION to call for the UK government to show compassion to asylum seekers.