We are getting reports of some of the girls’ families being questioned but fortunately they are still unharmed in their homes in Kabul. Two of our girls tried to get to the airport yesterday and were turned away despite paperwork. Our CEO reported getting a panicked voice message from one of them worried that she was going to die because of the mob at the scene, they too are back home now. We are still working on visas for the remaining girls.
We are liaising with government representatives, media outlets and people on the ground to push this priority and we desperately need safe passage to the airport.
The painful truth is that we cannot help everyone. Today we received a message from a non-member of Ascend, which broke our hearts a little more.
“Yesterday I received a call from an unknown person who warned me to stop my work. I am so afraid now. My mission and vision was to enhance Afghanistan's economy and empower Afghanistan girls. Please tell me what I have done wrong?”
It highlights that the international community needs to come together to pressure the Taliban to respect women’s rights. Whatever rule is established in Afghanistan, we will find a way to advocate/protect women on the ground.
Here are two ways you can help our girls:
Spread awareness and lobby your local representatives. We need civil action and political will to get our girls out.
Donate to Ascend. Donations will go directly to helping Ascend-affiliated girls and their families leave Afghanistan. This involves paying for visas, plane tickets, and travel expenses, and local currency in cash for wherever they land.
4th Annual Chiltern Challenge
Many have been asking whether our sponsored 25K/50k walk in the UK Chiltern Hills on 25th September will be going ahead. It absolutely will.
We welcome all to walk with Team Ascend and help support our girls, or to set up their own event. Sign up to ours here.
It is more important than ever to relish these simple freedoms where we can, for those who can't.
We see that many people are setting up their own fundraisers and we are very grateful for your support.