SAN RAFAEL (KPIX) - Since the Taliban takeover of Kabul, a local non-profit is desperately trying to rescue hundreds of its employees stuck in Afghanistan whose lives may be in danger.
Roots of Peace says it has more than 350 Afghan employees on its payroll. Organizers are worried for each person and their families, despite promises made Tuesday by the Taliban.
On Tuesday, Taliban leaders broadcast messages of respect, and forgiveness, but many who left their homeland and are working in America now, fear what may happen to friends and family left behind.
"Everyone is not sleeping at home. Everyone has the biggest grief in their hearts because they do not know what's going to happen to their families," said one Roots of Peace employee who asked KPIX-5 not to show his face or name, fearing the Taliban could use any information to target loved ones.
It's been a non-stop effort for founder Heidi Kuhn and her team, communicating with U.S. State
Department officials and seeking ways to help its Afghan employees get out of the country.
"It's of tremendous grave concern because not only are women targeted but also those of leadership capacities," said Kuhn.
As images of chaos in a country overrun by armed Taliban forces continue to flood social media and television screens, Afghans living in the Bay Area like Bibi Kawser Amine are trying to help.
"It's really sad for me. They were just crying, telling me we are not safe," said Amine.
She met Kuhn and former Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice before her soccer game as a teenager, and just reunited with Roots of Peace, to help in any way she can.
"I'm trying to be strong. Trying to be. Fighting for life, for my family, fighting for my country," said Amine.
Roots of Peace has been helping farming communities for decades in war-torn countries like Afghanistan by maximizing income potential, ultimately improving lives. What lies ahead, is only part of its mission.
Roots of Peace is asking for donations at this time and promising 100% of donations will go to help internally displaced people, those who have been forced out of their homes, but remain in Afghanistan at the moment.
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