Amidst the chaotic and uncertain August 2021 withdrawal of the United States from Afghanistan, Rise to Peace emerged as a leading organization in the efforts to ensure the safety and well-being of both Americans and Afghans. At the forefront of these critical operations, our organization played a pivotal role in evacuating approximately 500 individuals who faced imminent danger from the Taliban during the withdrawal.
Since August 2021, Rise to Peace has remained steadfast in our commitment to assist with the safe exit of individuals from Afghanistan to the United States. Our dedicated team of 24 individuals, comprising US military veterans, college and graduate students, and concerned citizens from around the world, has worked tirelessly as part of “Operation Freedom – Afghanistan Evacuation.” Through data collection, information analysis, and strategic submission for evacuation consideration, we have supported the evacuation efforts from intermediary locations such as Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Turkey, and Pakistan, ensuring a smooth transition for evacuees on their journey to the United States.
In close collaboration with the US government, we have been instrumental in identifying and prioritizing high-risk individuals for evacuation, guaranteeing their safe passage out of Afghanistan. However, our commitment extends beyond evacuation alone. Once evacuated, Rise to Peace provides comprehensive support throughout the resettlement process. We have facilitated housing and employment opportunities for Afghan evacuees, conducted cultural consultations to aid their integration into their new communities, and connected them with essential tools and resources to foster their successful transition.
Recognizing the unique challenges faced by Afghan evacuees, Rise to Peace also offers legal and immigration services to navigate the complexities of the immigration system. We believe in empowering evacuees with the necessary support to rebuild their lives, ensuring they can thrive in their new environments with security and peace of mind.
Operation Freedom, a critical three-stage initiative manned 24/7 by dedicated Rise to Peace volunteers, is at the heart of our efforts. Comprising of Red, Black, and Green Teams, this comprehensive operation focuses on addressing the multifaceted needs of Afghan nationals throughout their journey.
Rise to Peace members assigned to the Red Team prioritize the urgent task of evacuating high-priority Afghan nationals from the country, ensuring their safety in the face of Taliban rule. These individuals have demonstrated unwavering dedication to democracy and freedom, often sacrificing their lives and the security of their loved ones to support the United States and its allies during decades of conflict. With a shared commitment to their safety, we work tirelessly to secure their safe passage out of Afghanistan, supporting both Americans and Afghans during the NEO noncombatant evacuation operation and the broader ongoing evacuation mission.
Members of the Black Team work closely with the Red Team, taking charge once Afghan nationals leave Afghanistan. These dedicated volunteers provide vital support in navigating paperwork and logistics, ensuring the safe arrival and transition of Afghan citizens to third-party nations such as the UK, Turkey, the UAE, the USA, or Canada. Recognizing that the journey does not end with leaving Afghanistan, Rise to Peace is committed to securing the necessary travel and residency documents for every evacuee, safeguarding their families’ well-being in their new host countries. We have successfully assisted the US government in relocating nearly 4,500 Afghan evacuees from Abu Dhabi to the United States, providing them with stability after months of uncertainty.
Rise to Peace members assigned to the Green Team collaborate with host nations that serve as the final destination for Afghan nationals. Recognizing the importance of a robust social, financial, and logistical support network, our organization works diligently to ensure the successful integration of evacuees into their new communities. We were among the first organizations to extend a warm welcome to Afghan evacuees when the first planes arrived in Virginia. Providing essential necessities such as clothes and food at Northern Virginia Community College, we have since assisted thousands of Afghan evacuees in settling into the United States. Our support extends to various aspects of their lives, including employment, education, cultural integration, housing, and medical appointments. Additionally, Rise to Peace volunteers have aided evacuees with visa packets and collaborated with resettlement agencies to expedite their cases, emphasizing their ties to the United States.
Rise to Peace remains committed to providing ongoing assistance to Afghan evacuees, enabling them to rebuild their lives with dignity and pursue a future marked by peace and prosperity.