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Ascend: Leadership Through Athletics hasn't added a story.
The Story so far
On 15th August 2021, the Taliban entered Kabul.
Ascend had 74 girls in Afghanistan who needed help to escape.
Hearing the news, Anne McNamara and Andrea Martin both knew they wanted to help.
Anne & Andrea began work to gain 20 visas for Ireland to help Ascend.
They connected with East Galway TD Ciaran Cannon to navigate the system. There are three departments with potential responsibility. No one is sure which one is ultimately responsible.
They began to lobby, write, text, and call the UNHCR, Irish Refugee Council, Department of Foreign Affairs, Department of Justice, Department of Children Equality Disability Integration and Youth and Ministers in hope of finding a decision-maker but they had no luck.
Fortunately, the right person found them. Eibhlin Byrne, Director of the Irish Refugee Programme, calls . The deal - if we can find accommodation/resettlement support, she’ll have a strong case to present to Minister Roderic O’Gorman.
T ens of Irish people offer rooms, welcome packs, medical support, transport, access to education, sports clubs, clothes, toiletries. The Red Cross offers support. And within 48 hours, we had a resettlement plan.
Less than a month after the campaign began, on 14th September, they received a call from Eibhlin Byrne advising that Minister Roderic O'Gorman will grant 20 visas.
Now the real story starts
We need your help
The work doesn't end here. The 20 refugees need to fund their exit from Afghanistan, their flights to Ireland, housing, food, clothing, and other essentials to be able to begin their new lives. In time they will need help with education, getting into jobs. You can help.
How can you help?
- Donate - no matter how big or small, every donation is appreciated and will help to change the lives of these families. We need at least €10k per annum per family unit
- Spread the word - share our campaign on social media to help us increase our reach and hit our goal
- If you have long term accommodation we would love to hear from you
All funds raised will go directly to the Irish Resettlement Fund - a fund managed by Ascend which will be used to cover the resettlement costs of the Ascend 20 in Ireland.
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