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Afghanistan Emergency Response

Raised toward our $100,000 Goal
1,406 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on October 05, at 01:30 PM PDT
Project Owners

Afghanistan Emergency Response

Update: Thank you! We did it. 

Dear Supporters of the Afghanistan Emergency Response: 

Thank you for your incredible response to the crisis in Afghanistan. With your help and in just a few weeks, we raised more than $250,000 from more than 1,400 of you for an urgent campaign to support Afghans at risk. These funds were matched with a $100,0000 contribution from UC Berkeley’s Vice Chancellor of Research. 

On behalf of UC Berkeley and San Jose State’s Human Rights Institute, thank you. 

We are working hard to support the evacuation of Afghans who are trying to
flee—including a journalist and two lawyers. We plan to bring at least six scholars to Berkeley and four to San Jose State, along with their families. 

We are also supporting others in the UC system who have been motivated by our efforts to raise funds to help relocate scholars at risk. And we’re guiding other colleges and universities across the country in replicating these efforts. 

Our institutions have a responsibility and an opportunity to address this crisis. 

We will continue to accept donations through this fund should you have friends and family members who wish to donate. 

We hope to update you very soon with information on those who are coming to the Bay Area. You are now part of their journey. 

On behalf of our partners, many thanks. 


Alexa Koenig

Executive Director

Human Rights Center, UC Berkeley

Update on Sept. 15: We're just $6,000 away from our new goal of $250,000 by midnight on September 15! Thank you for making this possible.

Thank you for the outpouring of support these past weeks as we have responded to the emergency situation in Afghanistan at UC Berkeley's Human Rights Center and Afghan Students Association and San Jose State's Human Rights Institute. Your gifts are making a difference.  

Please share this campaign with friends today as we try to reach $250,000 in donations before midnight. We're less than $6,000 away. 

Please note that while we are in contact with some of our potential visiting scholars and activists in Afghanistan and elsewhere, we are sharing only limited information about their situation for safety and security reasons. 

We are working to bring at least six scholars and their families to UC Berkeley. Three of these scholars and families are still in Afghanistan, and we are actively ensuring that US Congress members have them on priority evacuation lists. We are supporting three other Afghan women at risk—a judge, another journalist, and a high-profile interpreter for a global advocacy organization—who are in the US or third countries as of this writing. 

Due to your incredible support, we've seen this effort spread to other UC campuses, including UCLA, UCSF, UC Santa Cruz, UC San Diego, UC Irvine, UC Santa Barbara, and UC Davis—so far—and the UC network has raised hundreds of thousands of dollars to date to bring Afghans in need to California. Our campuses have signed a letter to UC President Drake to request institutional support for crowdfunding across the UC system. 

We're also supporting other colleges and universities from across the country that have reached out to offer support and will be matching them with scholars in need of institutional homes. We're also offering guidance based on the work we're doing here in the Bay Area. 

We have created a spreadsheet with offers to provide housing, furniture, and other goods and services to Afghans who come to the Bay Area. We will be following up as soon as people arrive. 

Finally, we're working with national partners at the Scholars at Risk program and Committee to Protect Journalists to host Afghans or support the critical needs of these organizations. 

Thank you for your quick response to this urgent campaign. We will update you again as soon as we have specific information on the status of the scholars who are coming to California. 

With many thanks, 

—our team at UC Berkeley's Human Rights Center, San Jose State's Human Rights Institute, and UC Berkeley's Afghan Students Association.

Update on Aug. 27: We reached our stretch goal and are still going! Our new goal is to raise $250,000 by September 15. 

From all of us on the Afghanistan Scholars at Risk team, thank you so much for your commitment to this important campaign. While we have been flooded with requests for support as the situation on the ground in Afghanistan remains terrifying, we are hopeful about this outpouring of support.

In response to requests for us to keep our Afghanistan Scholars at Risk campaign open, we will extend our deadline to September 15 with a new goal of $250,000. This will enable us to continue to spread the word and allow people the chance to donate and offer other kinds of support. 

In the meantime, we are hard at work putting your funds to good use with 100 percent of donations going toward our supporting Afghan families who face grave risks. Although the situation is constantly shifting, we are processing visas, monitoring security in real time, supporting evacuations, working with a university network, and preparing to receive people in the United States.

In the meantime, if you have not already done so, please share this campaign on social media as widely as possible to spread awareness, raise additional support, and inspire other institutions to launch similar efforts. We have already been contacted by several universities who heard about this campaign and are trying to replicate our efforts to bring in visiting scholars of their own. These types of efforts are necessary so that as many families as possible can be matched.

Finally, if you have in-kind donations such as translation services, housing, or other resources to offer to Afghan students or families arriving in the Bay Area, please fill out this form

With gratitude and thanks, 

—The Afghanistan Scholars at Risk Team


UC Berkeley’s Human Rights Center, in partnership with San Jose State's Human Rights Institute and the UC Berkeley Afghan Student Association, has created the Afghanistan “Scholars at Risk Fund” on behalf of our campuses to respond to the Taliban takeover in Afghanistan and the urgent need to help journalists, lawyers, and other academics—especially women—flee the country. 

Our goal is to raise $100,000 quickly—by Friday, August 27, 2021. If we reach $100,000, the UC Berkeley Vice Chancellor for Research Opportunity Fund has pledged to match it, dollar-for-dollar to enable emergency travel and placement in the Bay Area

Please make your gift today to support this crucial initiative. 

Our first priority is immediate support for a leading women’s rights activist and journalist with five small children. She and her family are at acute risk and desperately trying to escape Afghanistan. We are also working quickly to secure placement for a law school dean, and with Scholars at Risk, an international network organized to support academic freedom, to bring others to Berkeley.

We are coordinating with contacts in the United States and Afghanistan, including university and U.S. government officials, the Scholars at Risk program, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and others who are responding to this crisis. 

We hope our universities will inspire other institutions to help the women, men, and children facing grave risks in Afghanistan to find refuge. Please make your gift today.

Thank you for your consideration and support. If you have any questions, please contact

Choose a giving level


Contribute $50

Contribute $50 to support Afghan refugees and receive updates regarding the progress of our campaign and information about our center as a whole.


Contribute $100

Contribute $100 to support Afghan refugees and receive a thank you note, plus all benefits of lower levels.


Contribute $250

Contribute $250 to support Afghan refugees and receive a personalized thank you note, plus all benefits of lower levels.


Contribute $500

Contribute $500 to support Afghan refugees and be highlighted in our September newsletter, plus all benefits of lower levels.


Contribute $1,000

Contribute $1,000 to support Afghan refugees and receive a handwritten card from a member of our staff, plus all benefits of lower levels.


Contribute $2,500

Contribute $2,500 to support Afghan refugees and receive a handwritten card from Alexa Koenig, the Human Rights Center's executive director, plus all benefits of lower levels.


Contribute $5,000

Contribute $5,000 to support Afghan refugees and receive a video message from our staff thanking you for your support, plus all benefits of lower levels.


Contribute $10,000

Contribute $10,000 to support Afghan refugees and be invited to a video chat or lunch with the Human Right's Center's Executive Director Alexa Koenig, plus all benefits of lower levels.

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