AFGHANISTAN ACTION: While many remain frozen with horror at the scenes unfolding in Afghanistan, one small jeweler based in Brighton, England, is taking action to support the voices of the country’s women.
For the next two weeks online fashion jeweler Topple & Burn said it will donate 100 percent of profits from its Refugees Welcome collection to Rukhshana Media, which highlights the lives and work of Afghan women.
The Refugees Welcome necklace is priced at 21 pounds, and is sold through the brand’s website in the U.K. and the U.S.
Libby Freeman said she founded Topple & Burn in 2017 to help raise money for her U.K.-based charity, Calais Action, which benefits displaced people in the Calais, France, camps, and the wider European refugee crisis.
Topple & Burn, which has a small international team, also raises money for multiple charities and civil society initiatives.
Freeman said: “We’re so scared for our friends in Afghanistan, for those who have tried to flee to border towns and those whose asylum cases are currently being processed where they remain at risk for deportation. Hopefully we can use our platform to help raise money and awareness for work that protects women’s rights and helps tell their stories.”
The company said it has created more than 30 different jewelry designs with protest or tongue-in-cheek messages. The jewelry is made from surgical steel, and the gold and rose gold versions are 18k plated.
Rukhshana Media was created in November 2020 by the 28-year-old journalist Zahra Joya. The stories are written by Afghan women and are focused on the political, social and religious issues that impact their lives.
The group, she said, was named after a woman who was stoned to death by the Taliban in 2015, and the aim is to produce news from the perspective of women.
Separately, Joya has mounted an online fundraising campaign for Rukhshana. “Afghan women need a platform to speak for themselves. The Taliban’s return haunts Afghanistan and my Afghan sisters.”
This week the British government set up an Afghanistan citizens’ resettlement scheme, which will look to give 5,000 of the country’s “most vulnerable” citizens safe haven this year.
The overall aim is to settle some 20,000 people in Britain over the next few years, although U.K. Home Secretary Priti Patel said there is “no cap” on the scheme.