At the Kells to Kabul Fundraiser Launch at Kells Mill were Maiwand Bannanee, Stephanie McDermott, Tanya Thomas with "Bonnie" and Liam O'Sullivan
A group of residents in Kells have come together to reach out to Afghans living in Kilkenny, whose have extended families in Kabul and in the Panjshir valley region of Afghanistan.
The purpose of the fundraiser, an auction and car boot sale which will take place in Kells this Sunday, is to show solidarity with the Afghan community in Kilkenny and to offer support to them.
One of the organisers, Stephanie McDermott said that since the Taliban takeover, there is a deepening humanitarian crisis playing out.
“People have lost their jobs, there are food and fuel shortages, limited access to healthcare in parts of Afghanistan with many families and communities in precarious and vulnerable situations.
“In addition, many people who have become accustomed to relative freedom are now under surveillance and must dress a certain way, be careful who they are mixing with, freedoms curtailed in terms of movement all whilst under threat of violence,” she said.
To date there has been a great response to the fundraiser in the local area, in Kilkenny and the villages of Dunamaggin, Danesfort and Stoneyford. Many items have been donated for the auction which will take place at 2pm on Sunday (October 3)in the creche carpark. There will also be a car boot sale and people to book a table/car space for the car boot sale (€20) and a raffle.
Maiwan Bannanee, an Afghan who has been living in Kilkenny for the past 14 years said that the outlook for people in Afghanistan is grim.
“Since the Taliban took over power, the economy is in complete collapse and they are implementing draconian laws on the people. There is starvation and famine all over Afghanistan. People are selling their furniture and their household items for food. The situation is very grim. There is no social welfare system there and the land borders are blocked. It is very difficult to get out.
“My uncle has three daughters and there were all teaching in universities and my nephew worked with foreign aid and all their salaries are gone,” he said.
Maiwan said that he, along with other Afghans living in Kilkenny are greatly appreciative of the kindness of the local community who are organising the fundraiser.
“It is great and I want to thank everyone involved. It is a very difficult solution in Afghanistan and I think there has to be a political solution.”
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