People have used crowdfunding to help fund humanitarian and rescue efforts in Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban. One of these is an Instagram influencer’s ambitious crowdfunding campaign that raised over a million dollars within a single day. It also prompted critical questions about how the operation will work.
Quentin Quarantino (aka Tommy Marcus) launched Flyaway: Emergency Afghan Rescue Mission with the hope of ferrying more than 300 Afghans to safety, at the initial cost of $550,000. In less than 24 hours, the campaign had raised over $5 million. GoFundMe is featuring it in a hub of several verified campaigns dedicated to Afghanistan relief efforts. The hub includes GoFundMe’s own $250,000 initiative to provide food assistance, aid to displaced people and schools, and support for on-the-ground journalists. (See a full list of verified campaigns below, and additional ways to support refugees here.)
Marcus started his campaign for Raven Advisory, LLC, a subcontracting company that performs work for the U.S military. Marcus teamed up with Sheffield Ford (CEO Raven Advisory) and veteran advocates to rescue Afghans considered “high-value targets”. They include journalists, human rights lawyers and interpreters as well as advocates for LGBTQ and women’s rights. Marcus said that the Taliban were at imminent risk of execution for the evacuatees.
What began as grassroots fundraising has become a massive effort to raise funds. All proceeds will go towards Afghan safety.
Fundraising will help pay for crews and aircraft as well as security operations teams. The flight will cost $1,500 per seat, with the goal of evacuating families. Mashable reached out to Department of Defense for comments about the campaign. The leaders of the rescue effort said that they are aware of U.S. military’s work and have given permission. All funds remaining will go to International Women’s Media Organization for refugees.
Marcus Ford and Karen Kraft, veteran advocates, said that “What started as a grassroots fundraising initiative has grown exponentially” and they will use all funds to protect at-risk Afghans.
The exact location of the refugees and their legal status to remain there are not known. This is a concern for anyone who wants to know how the rescue operation will be carried out. Marcus’ spokesperson could not comment on the question of whether every refugee has been granted visas for the United States or other countries. However, they did point out that these visas are not required in order to board the flights.
According to Karen Jacobsen (a Tufts University professor of global immigration), “There are many large problems that I immediately notice.”
Former Special Forces soldiers are part of the team that rescues refugees. They also include intelligence officers who have expertise in Afghanistan.
Marcus Ford and Kraft stated that “The emphasis will be on extracting as much people as possible as fast and safely as possible”, Kraft, Ford and Marcus.
If you want to donate to a GoFundMe effort, here is a complete list of verified Afghan relief fundraisers featured by the platform, at the time of this story’s publication:
Goal: GoFundMe will grant grants to nonprofits that are vetted and provide crucial humanitarian assistance in Afghanistan.
The campaign’s goal is to send money to Women for Women International to support Afghan women who are in urgent need. This non-profit organization supports women living in conflict or war zones. You can also donate directly to Women for Women International‘s site.
Ziel: To rescue more than 300 Afghans who are at immediate risk of being killed or persecuted by the Taliban.
Goal: Moe Shalizi (an entertainment executive, whose parents arrived in the U.S. to seek refuge), created the campaign to help raise funds to tackle the humanitarian crisis. Shalizi is yet to identify which nonprofits and organizations will be funded by the fund.
Anne Lamott, a writer, organized the campaign in order to raise funds for Doctors Without Borders’ work in Afghanistan. You can also donate directly to Doctors Without Borders here.
Goal: Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation is a charity that promotes education for girls in Afghanistan. It launched the fundraiser to help pay school operating costs, salaries and support students and families during times of crisis. You can also donate directly to Razia’s Ray of Hope Foundation.
Goal: Organized on behalf of Wellness Worldwide for Sustainable Communities, a nonprofit organization, this campaign will fund food aid packages to internally displaced families in Afghanistan. You can also donate directly to Wellness Worldwide for Sustainable Communities.
Goal: Future Brilliance, a nonprofit organization with extensive experience in Afghanistan, created this campaign to evacuate and provide emergency relief to its network of employees, trainers, associates, and beneficiaries.
The Women’s Regional Network is an association made up of female civil leaders from India, Pakistan and Afghanistan. This campaign has one goal. The funds will be used to evacuate journalists, activists and media workers as well as politicians and other vulnerable women. You can also donate directly to the Women’s Regional Network.
Publited Sat, 21 August 2021 at 00:18.25 +0000