#WCW: 3 Afghan-Americans Aiding The Refugee Crisis

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I am dedicating this week’s WCW post to three of my amazing Afghan sisters, Arzo, Jasmine, and Layma.

As our counterparts in the Middle East escape the turmoil that has ravaged our homelands, three young Afghan American women are leaving their comfortable lives to offer some kind of help. I am extremely lucky and humbled to know these three women, whom I can call my friends. Arzo Wardak, Jasmine Afshar, and Layma Murtaza will be traveling to Lesvos, Greece, to provide basic necessities to these refugees directly. They have offered to document their purchases and update us about their work.

Currently, only two Afghan volunteers are assisting Afghan refugees arriving in Lesvos. They will be leaving soon. It is crucial that we fund Arzo, Layma, and Jasmine jaan’s work at this time. Donations will not be used for their trips however. They are going DIRECTLY TO THE REFUGEES. Each of the girls are covering their own travel, food, and accommodation expenses. All we ask of anyone who reads this is to donate what they can. All donations will go directly towards purchasing food, emergency equipment, warm clothing, feminine and hygiene kits, sleeping bags, and so on.

Jasmine is currently receiving her Masters Degree in Peace and Justice Studies, with a focus on security and sustainable development. She has interned at the Center for American Progress, and has conducted research on U.S. assistance to rebuilding Afghanistan.

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Jasmine Afshar

Arzo is a policy analyst and Afghanistan advocate on the Hill. She currently lives in Washington DC and is an active Afghan American community leader in the DC metropolitan area. She has made appearances on RT and advocated on behalf of the diaspora.You can read a message from both Arzo and Jasmine, as well as donate by pressing HERE HERE HERE HERE.

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Arzo Wardak

Layma received her Masters in Migration and Refugee Studies from the American University in Cairo. She was a civil rights lobbyist in California with Asian Americans Advancing Justice, and is now a Communications Consultant in Afghanistan for a local Afghan NGO. You can support her mission and read a personal message from Layma HERE HERE HERE HERE.

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Layma Murtaza

Their trips come at a crucial time. Six Afghan children drowned this Tuesday off the Turkish coast, adding to the tally of those who end their lives escaping war. The Turkish coastguard recovered the bodies, including a baby, and are still continuing the search for two more.

Please, donate whatever you can. Knowing these three amazing women personally, I know without a doubt that they will use your money to directly help those trying to survive this crisis.


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Syrian internally displaced people walk in the Atme camp, along the Turkish border in the northwestern Syrian province of Idlib, on March 19, 2013. The conflict in Syria between rebel forces and pro-government troops has killed at least 70,000 people, and forced more than one million Syrians to seek refuge abroad. AFP PHOTO/BULENT KILIC (Photo credit should read BULENT KILIC/AFP/Getty Images)

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