More than 15,000 people evacuated from Afghanistan are receiving basic necessities such as food, clothing and baby milk from the British Red Cross, which has been boosted by a grant from West Kent Freemasons and other Provinces.
Freemasonry, through the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) and Masonic Charitable Foundation (MCF), is responding to the emergency with a £25,000 contribution to the Red Cross relief effort.
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 Afghan 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.
The Red Cross 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.
West Kent 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.”
Mark Estaugh from West Kent Freemasons, 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”.