Several communities in the United Kingdom are providing aid to arriving refugees and children from Afghanistan after the Taliban took over the country.
Sally Depee, the founder of Little Cherubs, a children’s clothes bank, told The Guardian that a social worker asked her to provide clothes for 64 Afghan children between the ages of 1 and 13 who would be staying at a hotel in Congleton, Cheshire, England.
After putting out an appeal on social media on Tuesday, Depee received 200 donations of clothes as of Wednesday afternoon.
“We’ve got prams, we’ve got coats, pyjamas, we’ve had financial contributions from local businesses which have been in touch,” Depee noted. “People who have seen it on Facebook have asked if they can send money, so we are going to buy new underwear for the children.”
“We’ve got two huge vans, and we are going to take them on Sunday to the hotel in Congleton,” she added.
Depee, who founded Little Cherub in February to provide clothing and shoes for children during the COVID-19 pandemic, told The Guardian that she felt a strong moral responsibility to help the Afghan children.
“These are children who have never known anything other than war. They are somebody’s daughter, they are somebody’s son,” she said. “Let’s help these people and try and give them some dignity and make that transition from being airlifted from their home with only the clothes on their back. If we can do a small gesture by providing them with some clothing and toiletries and toys, why not do it,” she added.
The Cheshire East Council has agreed to temporarily accommodate several individuals and families working as “locally employed staff” in support of British forces in Afghanistan. Additionally, longer-term accommodations will be provided for five families.
Meanwhile, the Manchester branch of Care4Calais, a refugee charity, launched a fundraiser on Tuesday. All proceeds will be used to purchase welcome packs consisting of clothes, shoes and basic toiletries for Afghan refugees.
“We have just been informed that Afghan refugees will soon be housed in two hotels in Manchester. Our Manchester volunteers are gearing up to meet them, but they need your support,” the charity wrote in a Facebook post. “If you are near Manchester and can donate clothes, shoes, phones or other essentials, please go to our drop-off map and click on the Manchester pin for contact details.”
By Wednesday afternoon, the charity raised over £22,000.
Care4Calais Manchester coordinator Maddy Summerfield told the Manchester Evening News that the charity would also welcome donations of notebooks, pens and playing cards.
“They’re going to be in the hotel system for a while, it often takes a good few months for their asylum claim to get anywhere, so we’re in need of recreational type things too,” she said.
“We know they will be staying in hotels around the airport, but we don’t know where they will be dispersed to yet,” Summerfield added. “They will have to isolate for 10 days, and then we’ll be allowed to operate. But this buys us some time to find out what’s going on.”
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Natanael Ginting
Milton Quintanilla is a freelance writer and content creator. He is a contributing writer for Christian Headlines and the host of the For Your Soul Podcast, a podcast devoted to sound doctrine and biblical truth. He holds a Masters of Divinity from Alliance Theological Seminary.