For the last two weeks our screens have been showing harrowing scenes from a country halfway around the world, where a nation is in turmoil and many people are fearful about the future and struggling to know what to do next. What we are seeing in Afghanistan is an unfolding humanitarian crisis, with people leaving through evacuation flights as well attempting to cross borders into neighbouring countries. Please hold the situation and people of Afghanistan in your prayers
Around seventy people in family groups have now arrived in Derby and are in temporary hotel accommodation which will be their home until they can be resettled in different parts of the UK. These are families who have arrived through the Government’s ARAP scheme, having worked for the British Government in Kabul or as interpreters in Helmand.
Already refugee support organisations in Derby, churches and the national “Welcome Churches” are working together to ensure people are welcomed and helped.
How can you help?
- Upbeat Communities (one of the refugee charities in Derby) have launched a Just Giving page. By receiving financial donations they are able to be flexible in providing immediate support and make plans for support in the coming weeks. For details go to https://www.justgiving.com/campaign/UpbeatCommunitiesAfghanAppeal
- A list of urgently needed items will be published as soon as possible. DRS (Derbyshire Refugee Solidarity) are always happy to receive donations for their work with refugees including those from Afghanistan. For further information go to www.derbyshirerefugeesolidarity.org.
- Meanwhile we are invited to contact our MP to ensure the Government commits to its promise to resettle more Afghan refugees along with those currently here in the UK who are not part of the resettlement scheme and some of whom may be being held in detention centres
A Prayer for Afghanistan (Christian Aid)
O God of mercy and peace,
We hold before you the peoples of Afghanistan.
Be living bread to those who are hungry each day
Be healing and wholeness to those who have no access to health care amid the ravages of the pandemic.
Be their true home to all who have been displaced
Be open arms of loving acceptance to those who fear because of their gender, ethnicity, religious or political views
Be peace to those engaged in armed conflict and those who live within its shadow.
Turn our hearts and minds to your gentle ways of just and gentle peace,
Open our eyes to see you in all acts of compassionate care
Strengthen our hearts to step out in solidarity with your suffering people and
Hold us all in your unfailing love.
We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, who emptied himself of all but love in order to bring life in all its fullness.
This prayer was written by Ramani Leathard, Christian Aid’s Head of Region for South East Asia and Afghanistan.
For more points for prayer go to www.christianaid.org.uk and click on Prayer for Afghanistan
Derby Cathedral and Derby City of Sanctuary network
“proud to welcome and support those seeking sanctuary in Derby and Derbyshire"