Afghan refugees newly-arrived in UK are being given essential supplies from the Red Cross in part thanks to £25,000 given by Freemasons – including those in Lincolnshire.
More than 15,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan are receiving basic necessities such as food, clothing and baby milk from a British Red Cross relief effort, boosted by a grant from the Freemasons’ charity the MCF, funded entirely by Freemasons.
Since they left the turbulent environment of Kabul Airport and arrived in the UK, the Afghans have been moved into hotels across the country. These families arrived with nothing and lacked even the basic essentials of such as food, clothing, hygiene supplies and baby products.
The Red Cross has been providing support to the families since their arrival, delivering over 1,000 units of baby milk, providing trauma support to those in distress from their experience and distributing over 400 pre-paid phones to connect families to separated loved ones. It will continue to fund relief efforts for Afghan families, most of whom arrived with very few belongings. These items will ensure that families have access to the basic items they need to survive and can look after themselves, stay healthy and begin to recover from their traumatic experiences.
Lincolnshire Freemasons contributed to the grant, from the Masonic Charitable Foundation, which is funded by Freemasons, their families and friends, from across England and Wales.
Kalyani McCarthy, British Red Cross Afghanistan Relocations Manager, said: “We’re very grateful to the Freemasons for this generous grant which makes a major contribution to the Red Cross effort to help Afghans who have mostly arrived in the UK with little more than the clothes on their backs.
“Whether it’s food, clothing or milk for babies, there’s a huge amount of need among these people and the Red Cross is doing everything it can to help.”
Dave Wheeler, Lincolnshire Freemasons’ Provincial Grand Master, said: “I’m very pleased we’ve been able to help the Red Cross with their vital work with newly arrived Afghan refugees. There are more than 15,000 people who need everything from food and clothing to a pre-paid mobile phone to allow them to stay in touch with their families in Afghanistan. I’m very proud that Freemasons are, once again, stepping up to help people in need.”
In our picture volunteers and staff Dara, Gloria, Henry and Fabian are among those handing out food, clothing, and toys to arriving families, while also providing emotional support. Dara said: “We’re making sure that people have food and water, and that we supply basic hygiene products – things like nappies for the babies, milk as well and then even such basics as kids shoes and clothing. Some of the kids have arrived with not much at all. And we need to make sure that for their ongoing journey here in the UK, that we leave them as best we can.”