Afghanistan and Haiti, and How the USA State of Georgia is helping (and how you can, too) — UPDATED

This is a developing story as the humanitarian crises in Afghanistan and Haiti intensify. Here’s what I know so far regarding the State of Georgia (where I live), with opportunities to help close to home and around the world. I will update this post as more info and opportunities to help become available*.

Afghanistan and Haiti

CARE (globally headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, USA) is hosting a flash-briefing webinar tomorrow (Wednesday) with updates on the situations in both Afghanistan and Haiti. I am attending and will report back.


Senator Jon Ossof from the State of Georgia seems to have taken the federal senator lead and is encouraging anyone needing or knowing of the need for Afghanistan evacuation assistance to email his team at They are specifically working to connect U.S. citizens, Afghan allies, journalists, and others at risk with U.S. government and NGO resources. Follow Senator Ossoff on Twitter @ossoff.

The City of Clarkston, Georgia is the most diverse square mile in the USA and a major destination for the relocation of refugees, with assistance from the International Rescue Committee (the IRC), which is headquartered there. According to this recent article in the AJC, the IRC has already sent staff members to Washington D.C. Excerpt:

The IRC has joined a cooperative with other refugee resettlement agencies, including New American Pathways, which is now scrambling to find affordable housing in the Atlanta area for families fleeing Afghanistan. —AJC 8/15/21

The photo at the top of this post is of some girls (cropped for privacy) with whom I worked briefly at the Global Village Project (actually located in nearby Decatur, GA), the only school specifically for girls who are refugees-of-war in the USA. There are girls who are refugees from Afghanistan there already. I can only imagine that their families and the entire refugee community is re-traumatized by the current reality.

The Global Village Project is hosting its very first Volunteer Fair on August 26 from 4:30-6 PM at Waller’s Coffee Shop at 240 Dekalb Industrial Way. You can meet people, complete volunteer paperwork, sign up for volunteer postings. (I volunteered as a lunch supervisor, which meant I walked the girls to and from lunch at Agnes Scott College one day a week throughout the fall before the pandemic, and ate with them — you get free lunch there when you volunteer for this, and it’s terrific.)

Note: all Global Village Project volunteers are required to attend their full-day trauma-informed training, which honestly everyone should do anyway — I have found it enormously helpful in all areas of my life as so many people are traumatized for so many reasons, especially now. FYI: The Fugees Academy, founded in Clarkston by the astounding Luma Mufleh** and now with two locations including its headquarters in Columbus, Ohio, is a school for both boys and girls who are refugees-of-war. The 11-minute video linked to her name above is worth every single second.

I am volunteering at a community garden for refugees and teaching a bike class to teens there on Saturday, and will hopefully be in Clarkston tomorrow to prepare. I will swing by ThriftTown (the local supermarket, which transformed itself years ago to serve refugees and has thrived ever since), Refugee Coffee, and some other places and will report back with any additional news I gather. If you are curious about Clarkston, please feel free to take this virtual bike ride in my PeopleForBikes Ridespot tour.

Robert Rands, Board Member of SOPO Bike Cooperative (located in the City of Atlanta) posted this in Twitter: I run a refugee program (based in Reynoldstown)originally aimed at Iraqi translators (and their families) regarding getting bicycles. It will now serve Afghani translators (and their families). If you want to contact me on this, feel free. Send to

I have emailed Robert to request an interview for my Meet series, which shines a light on people making it more welcoming to ride bikes (which is an affordable form of critical transportation to work, school, and more, especially for those in need). Stay tuned.


My friend Carolyn Rader (Chairperson of the PEDS advocacy group’s Board of Directors — note, PEDS just merged with the Atlanta Bicycle Coalition) asked on Facebook how folks can help with Haiti. A friend of hers, Guersen Eugene, replied that HERO (Haiti Emergency Rescue Organization) needs donations right now. Click here.

* Note: If you can do nothing else right now as the enormity of the world’s pain surrounds and abounds, then simply plant. Just plant. See here for my post from yesterday on my other blog. Seeds are the ultimate act of faith in the future, and we need that right now. We need you to believe in that. And then we need to see new life, and a new way forward. If you already love to grow food, please find a local place to donate any excess you may have. Need is great everywhere. People are starving. For food. For safety. For kindness.

** Meeting and working with Luma over the years on various projects completely changed my life, as well as the life of my dear friend Bob Lundsten, with whom I helped build a garden for the Fugees students (along with my dear friend David, who went on to start and run Helping Feed Atlanta, which delivered rescued fruits and vegetables to the Fugees Academy and numerous other organizations for years, and was instrumental in Costco changing its national corporate policy). Bob died suddenly two-and-a-half years ago. His family asked for donations to the Fugees Family in his obituary, and I would like to once again ask you to do so, if you are so inclined. Note: Helping Feed Atlanta is now closed due to David’s health issues, but all his routes have been taken over by Second Helpings.


Hunter Ramseur at SOPO provided me with info about their refugee bike program. (Note: Hunter is also one of the people with whom Mike Flueckiger is working on another project named Global Spokes. Small world: I featured Mike in my Meet series about people making it more welcoming to ride bikes.) From Hunter:

The SOPO refugee bike program is now in its fourth year. We have donated over 400 bikes to refugee families throughout the Clakrston area. As you might guess the large majority of adult refugees are here without transportation so our primary focus is to provide them with refurbished bikes along with helmets, locks and safety lights.We have also provided bikes to their children since they need them for recreation. It seems they are limited to the apartment complexes they live in without any organized recreation available. We can always use donated bikes and we are available to pick up bikes in the Decatur/Avondale Estates area. We can also use monetary donations since due to safety concerns each bike we donate requires around $50 in accessories.

Visit SOPO’s website and contact them here.

Kitti at Refuge Coffee sent this list of ways-to-help yesterday (note: follow Refuge Coffee on Facebook for up-to-date info, such as photos fromt he vigil they held this week, and any upcoming calls-to-action)

Here are a few links from friends: 

  • Miles4Migrants raises funds for airfare. They have a page that directly supports Afghanistan.
  • I just spoke with the folks at Preemptive Love Coalition. They are “directly and swiftly committing funds” to Afghanistan – no details other than that just yet, but I know they are trustworthy people who do what they say they will do in some of the hardest places to reach and serve in the world. 
  • Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security {GIWPS} has set up a fund to evacuate women out of Afghanistan. They are asking for a minimum donation of $1000, so this is one you might want to give to with friends. 

Now for a lot more! We don’t have personal relationships with the following, but they come from a highly recommended Instagram account,  @TheSlowFactory: 


Ok, gotta make this quick. Am running,bVisiting a friend with cancer and then helping teach an AARP class . . . Went to Clakrston yesterday. Sat in the shadow of ThrfitTown while attending the zoom flash-briefing from CARE. I live-tweeted it so check out my twitter feed. I’ll have to circle back with more info. Biggest messages? No time for discussion. Just action. Every moment is critical right now for providing food, water, shelter, and safety. Cash assistance needed first. Send money. CARE has people on the ground in both places both for immediate aid and long-term development.

Biggest hope? Women and girls who are educated cannot be uneducated. They are unstoppable. Providing women with money is not aid. They are first responders who feed and care for others.

Doctors without Borders also asking for funds.


See my post today about the Afghan women cyclists, with more ways to help.