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Bay Area NGO Trying To Evacuate Hundreds of Staffers from Afghanistan

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Afghan women refugees with their young children.

Among the thousands of people trapped in the chaos of Afghanistan are about 360 Afghan employees with Roots of Peace.

Since 2003, The San Rafael-based non-profit has cleared mines and restored farmland in Afghanistan.

Founder Heidi Kuhn told the Marin Independent Journal, Tuesday, that she fears for the safety of her Afghan staffers and is seeking help to have them safely evacuated. She added that she is especially concerned about her organization’s female employees, given the Taliban’s repressive policies towards women and girls.

Telephone conversations between the organization’s San Rafael headquarters and Roots of Peace staffers still trapped inside Afghanistan have detailed dire security and humanitarian conditions.

The Taliban launched a suicide attack on a Roots of Peace office in 2014. Despite the deteriorating security situation, Kuhn said her staffers were not evacuated weeks ago when the Biden administration announced it was withdrawing its last troops from Afghanistan — because they didn’t anticipate the government would collapse.