indigo foundation is profoundly saddened by unfolding events in Afghanistan. The immediate and potential long-term impacts of the Taliban taking power – on the people of Afghanistan and Afghan families and communities here in Australia – is of great concern.
For almost 20 years indigo foundation has successfully partnered with communities in Afghanistan to provide access to education and improve education outcomes for children and young people, with a particular focus on equity for girls and young women. Over 8,000 young people have benefited from these partnerships and the number of girls and boys completing their education and going on to tertiary education has increased dramatically.
With the situation in Afghanistan changing by the hour, we are monitoring the situation closely with friends and colleagues in Afghanistan and Australia to understand how the communities we support will be affected in the coming days, and in the longer term.
Our hearts go out to our partner communities and to the people we have worked with in support of those communities. We also acknowledge the pain and distress being felt within diaspora communities in Australia as they seek out information about their loved ones and try to find ways to support them.
While the immediate future is unpredictable and insecure, indigo foundation is urgently assessing what practical support we can offer our partner communities and we stand in solidarity with those who face immediate risk. Our partner communities have shown strong resilience and resolve for education and are determined to continue to educate their children.
We strongly urge the Australian Government to continue its efforts to secure safety for individuals and families who are in immediate danger and at risk of persecution, including those who have worked with the Australian Government and its aid programs, human rights defenders and civil society leaders and staff. We call on the Australian Government to play its part in responding to any humanitarian crisis that results from the dramatic takeover of the country by the Taliban and to immediately increase Australian aid to the region.
We also urge the Australian Government to seize this moment as an opportunity to change course and speed up action on family reunion, extend temporary visas of all Afghan citizens in Australia and offer permanency to those in Australia holding Temporary Protection Visas.
indigo foundation and our supporters stand ready to work with and support Afghan diaspora communities in Australia and other non-government organisations with a commitment to the people of Afghanistan – standing up for the protection of human rights and responding in practical ways to the impact of this crisis in the coming weeks.