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Update from Kabul

‘We believe in you, our hope is you’

This was a message we received today from one of the girls in the program and we in return extend it to all of our supporters.

We can’t thank each and every one of you personally but we have been overwhelmed by the support. We do our best to assure the girls that they have thousands of people advocating on their behalf.

The current situation remains more or less unchanged. A group of our girls tried to get to the gates at the airport last night and had to flee back home because of gunfire. They will remain there until it is safe to try again. Some have non-life-threatening injuries, from the panicked crowds, but are otherwise unharmed.

There has been some progress with granting visas (e.g. Denmark), however, the main barrier is getting them safely to the airport and on a flight.

How you can help:

1. Awareness and lobbying: Spreading awareness about what is happening and lobbying our representatives is probably the best way to get some of the girls out. We need to evacuate women who are at risk but don’t yet have their visas. We need public outcry and political will.

2. Donate to Ascend. We are using donations to help Ascend-affiliated girls and their families leave the country. This involves paying for visas, plane tickets, and travel expenses, plus providing cash for wherever they land. We are currently looking into potentially chartering a flight to a safe haven, it will be a considerable cost but the priority is the girls’ safety. (It is not currently possible for chartered flights to land in Kabul airport but our sources tell us this may change in the next coming days.)

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