It is hard to find the right words to talk about what is currently happening in Afghanistan.
Two weeks ago, we started thinking about ways to help. We came across many people that we relate to, who were asking too: how can we use what we do to have the most significant positive impact?
Our friend and artist Micki Rosi Richter approached us. The idea: an art auction to collect funds and send them to aid organizations directly. Working with crypto and NFTs ourselves, we started thinking about using an auction to directly send crypto funds to humanitarian aid organizations. When we lookedaround, we saw other calls for action in the crypto and NFT space, like Pierre Vannier on Twitter.
We decided to build an online auction platform where donors can bid on music and physical art pieces, but mainly NFTs.
The first step was looking for credible and targeted ways to help. We found local projects like Kabul Luftbrücke. It’s an organization collecting funds to charter airplanes to go directly to Kabul airport and evacuate as many people as possible. While they flew 189 people out of Afghanistan last week, they are looking ways to support further evacuations. With the recent withdrawal of the USA and Bundeswehr, this organization is evaluating various ways to bring vulnerable people to safety by land, using their team in Afghanistan.
We found projects like Care Package, an edition of NFTs where each NFT covers one family’s emergency needs for a month. The funds collected are directly sent to care.org.
We found GoFundMe campaigns like Operation Flyaway — a project that works to save the lives of “high-value targets“ or “...individuals who are at imminent risk of being executed by the Taliban, along with their families: Afghan men and women who have worked as human rights lawyers, champions of Women’s and LGBTQ rights, journalists, government liaisons, artists, and interpreters.” Last week, they closed the fundraiser to new donations. Operation Flyaway raised $7,279,310 from 123,300 people, and to date, they have facilitated the evacuation of 350 people.
We found DEFEND AFGHAN WOMEN'S RIGHTS! — a project by HÁWAR.help that is collecting funds and forwarding them to women’s rights organizations that have people on the ground such as Afghanischer Frauenverein (Afghan Volunteer Women‘s Association), Medica Mondiale, Madre, and ICAN.
Talking to some of the larger aid organizations like Civil Society and Human Rights Network (CSHRN), we found they all face the same issues: a chaotic situation on the ground, unstable infrastructure conditions, and the need to protect the people that they work with.
While reaching out to organizations and looking for ways to help, we put together a website: http://artauctionafghanistan.org/ and minted our first artworks for the art auction using Zora. There will be more soon.