3, 517 miles away from Afghanistan, The Afghanistan and Central Asian Association is helping the refugees that are able to escape the war.  This local charity located in Feltham is needing more help than ever being the government's first call for refugees who just traveled from Afghanistan. Since the beginning of the crisis in Afghanistan, “600 people have been coming to our office every day queuing from 5 am.” says Dr. Nasimi, director of the charity.  


The Afghanistan and Central Asian Association focus on helping Afghan refugees settle into Feltham & other local areas. They receive donations from people around to give them clothes, food, and whatever else they need. It’s truly a community in this charity, as volunteers give their time to make sure they are as comfortable as possible. I spoke to some of the volunteers on a Sunday morning, and they didn’t seem like they wanted to be anywhere else. They truly cared for what they were doing and believed in the cause. However, it’s always been a small charity. That’s why after the millions of Afghan refugees came here looking for help, the charity began to feel a bit under-supported.  


As more people needed food, clothes, and safe accommodation, ACAA began to struggle with the workload, as well as the pressure. As I visited the charity, I saw volunteers filtering through boxes and boxes of donations, to deliver to the hotels. Dr. Nasimi expressed the situation as “We are now extremely busy with unprecedented levels of demand” and said, “We are like the Kabul Airport.”  


The locals around the area have been helping with some of the things the refugees are needing since they came with practically nothing. They are creating a new life here, and it's truly from scratch. The director of the charity didn’t grow up locally in Feltham as he came from Afghanistan himself.  


In the back of a refrigerator truck, Dr. Nasimi came to Feltham in the hope of a better life. Without being able to speak English, he took it upon himself to create a charity for Afghan refugees in the hope of a better future. Settling into a whole new continent was a challenge enough, but Dr. Nasimi said, “I saw a need for a change in the community, to help future Afghan refugees.”  


Regardless of the effort, it’s been, we can all acknowledge what a blessing this charity has been in helping the refugees feel as at home as possible. If you would like to help, please volunteer your time or donate coats, shoes, baby clothes, and empty suitcases.