Ideas to help families in crisis in Afghanistan

The fall of Afghanistan to the Taliban is so incredibly sad. In only a week, this extremist political faction has taken country of a country after 20 years of U.S. occupation and dashed the hope for a future based in democracy.

Related: Talking to our children about world tragedies

When last in rule, the Taliban was extremely hostile to anyone with views outside of their narrow law and especially oppressive toward women and children.

We have watched as this disaster unfolded in Afghanistan. To our horror, we saw throngs of people – including families with young children – crowding the tarmac of the last U.S. stronghold after evacuating the embassy – an airport in Kabul – with people hanging out of airplanes, so desperate to flee the country.

Related: Talking politics with your children

And now the reports of violence even as the Taliban “pledged” peace to the expats seeking to leave Afghanistan’s borders and the remaining Afghan citizens.

It’s hard to know what to do to help Afghan families in this humanitarian crisis. Here are links to some organizations mobilized to provide aid on the ground:

  • Afghan Journalists Safety Committee – seeking donations to establish safehouses for Afghan journalists, many of whom are women, having enjoyed greater freedom under the U.S.-backed constitutional government before the Taliban takeover
  • International Rescue Committee – seeking petitioners to send an email urging the U.S. President Joe Biden administration to take emergency action in Afghanistan
  • IRAP – seeking donations to offer assistance to Afghan refugees
  • LIRS – seeking volunteers and donations for emergency supplies to incoming Afghan refugees arriving in the U.S. cities of Fort Worth, Houston, Seattle, and Washington DC
  • Women for Afghan Women – seeking donations to support women living in Afghanistan, working to develop a grassroots approach in shifting cultural norms from oppression and violence to peace and equality
  • Women for Women International – seeking donations to support women’s mental and physical health in Afghanistan

Getting through the Paris attacks with an old neighbor

On November 13, 2015 — as I pushed through the realities of daily life with two young children — I coped with a lot of emotion: fear for my sister-in-law, who was in Paris on business…relief when she let us know she was unharmed…and sadness that something so horrible could happen.

As I scrolled through Facebook the next morning, I happened upon a post of inspiring quotes from Fred Rogers.

From Snappy New

I’m a bit obsessed with Mr. Rogers. Like many of us, I watched his public children’s television show, Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood, every day when I was young. When I became pregnant with my second child, I suffered from hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness), so I reluctantly allowed my older daughter more screentime than I would have liked while I was incapacitated. The slow pace, and gentle, educational content of Mr. Rogers’ show allayed many of my concerns about my toddler watching TV. I started researching Fred Rogers, a wonderfully loving man in all aspects of his life. I ended up buying books of his quotes and insights, and look to them frequently for inspiration. His love and acceptance of all people is an ideal I try to live up to everyday.

I opened the article.  Mr. Rogers got me through preschool, a difficult pregnancy and the challenges of daily life. He could get me through Paris.

And he did:

“When I was a boy and would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of disaster, I remember my mother’s words, and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers in this world.” ~ Fred Rogers

alexis schrader family with new babyAs a mother and API Leader, Attachment Parenting is often on my mind — but usually in a very immediate sense. I answer questions about bedsharing and breastfeeding. I use positive discipline to get through a toddler’s tantrum. Mr. Rogers reminded me of why I chose Attachment Parenting in the first place: to raise empathic children who will be the helpers of this world…because what this world really needs is more people who grew up feeling deeply what Mr. Rogers always told us:

“I like you just the way you are.”


(Photo of Fred Rogers from Snappy New