By Maya Evans
Over the last ten years we have been working in solidarity with young Afghan peace activists in Kabul, supporting their grassroots projects and encouraging their efforts to promote peace. We have made a number of trips to Kabul and seen first hand the incredible work, while also meeting and collecting the stories of ordinary Afghans and how their lives have been shaped by 40 years of war and conflict.
Over the last few weeks, the Taliban have moved rapidly, taking provinces and cities overnight. The most recent is the city of Zaranj, Nimroz Province, cutting off a key escape route to Iran. There are now 4 million internally displaced Afghans with nowhere to run.
The Taliban have been targeting and making examples of anyone who has been working with the Afghan Government, foreign military or international organisations. Our friends feel that their high-profile campaigning has made them potential targets within their neighbourhoods.
We are now running a collection so that our young friends can, if needed, flee quickly. Many Afghans are no escaping to the mountains. This appeal is about protecting the lives of young Afghans who have worked tirelessly for peace and non-violence.
To donate, click here. Or click here to the Afghanistan Peace Project website and scroll down to the Donate box on the left. Alternatively click here to donate directly to Voices for Creative Non-Violence UK.
Maya Evans has been an international peace activist for the last ten years, visiting Kabul and working with youth activists. In 2005 she was the first person to be criminalised under the Serious Organised Crime and Police Act for a peaceful protest which remembered the Iraq war dead by reading aloud the names of British soldiers and Iraqi civilians who had been killed in the ongoing conflict. Maya is now the Hastings Borough Council Cabinet lead member for Environment and Climate Change Strategy.
Images: Main Image: Women in Afghanistan. Images in text: Kabul refugee camp, Refugee camp, Young people climb a mountain. Thanks to VCNV UK.
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