The situation we are seeing in Afghanistan is extremely distressing. CRS is supporting refugee families from Afghanistan who are of course very worried for their country and friends and family who are still there. Some of these families are on temporary visas with no certainty about their own future and are deeply concerned that they could be sent back to Afghanistan by the Australian government.
The Victorian Asylum Seeker Resource Centre has compiled comprehensive information for people impacted by the crisis in Afghanistan.
CRS volunteers involved with these families are doing their best to provide what information and support they can – someone to listen to them, to acknowledge what they are feeling, to provide care. For CRS members who have friends in the Afghan community who we have helped settle in Canberra, or friends who worked and served in the military or in development roles in Afghanistan it is a time to reach out and support them in whatever way we can. When we face things we can’t control or fix, it often helps to know you are not alone, that others care. Having said that, I acknowledge that it can also take an emotional toll. It’s very difficult to sit beside someone who is experiencing something we are powerless to really help with.
CRS is very grateful to the volunteers and indeed to all of its members who are doing the difficult work of being present in a COVID safe way at this time.
Beyond providing person to person support through our volunteers CRS has agreed to sign a letter to Australian parliamentarians sponsored by the Refugee Council of Australia.