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Global support for Afghan permaculturalists living with extreme danger

With the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, Permaculture for Refugees (P4R) connections with Afghanistan became a vital lifeline for our friends and colleagues there – peaceworkers, informal translators, and female academics – all of whom have gone into hiding or escaped to Pakistan.

Some of us in the P4R network have joined communications networks that have been set up to support these groups and individuals in their perilous journeys out of their country to safety. Afghan Peace Volunteers (APVs), who are the first permaculture refugees globally, have been our main focus. In addition to being peace activists they are permaculturists and we continue to support them in hiding and building funds for their future needs. The first two young people who were about to start the only Afghani Permaculture local NGO fled to Pakistan.  

Permaculturists in the USA, UK, Canada and Australia have connected and are supported by peace groups.  Organisations like Verge Permaculture donated funds following a Permaculture Summit online in 2021.  The network in the U.S. has a ‘buddy’ system connecting with Afghanis in danger, and in Australia we are going to start one. The emergency period is largely over, however with the waiting period, fear and uncertainty has a very distressing effect on people.  By “holding the hands” of individuals through the drawn-out processes of seeking asylum, the ‘buddy’ system provides much needed psychological support.

Permaculturists and the people from the Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) in India, the U.S, Canada, Australia and Europe have said they would be willing to support ‘permie’ refugees if and when they reach any of their shores. India was first to offer this in response to the crisis.  This global effort has been coordinated and facilitated by Eunice Neves in Portugal. However, at this stage, we have been unable to get anyone out of Kabul or Pakistan.

P4R and its affiliates support Afghanis with money, emails, reliable information and support with applications for visas. This is an international effort by permaculturists. With harsh cold winter at their doorstep Afghani permaculturists living in extreme danger, are now threatened by a winter famine. Afghanistan is in decline sadly with no active permaculturists.  We are on alert to see how, when and wherever else we can contribute.

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