SAN RAFAEL (CBS SF) — It’s been a sleepless week for the Roots of Peace as the organization tries to help more than 300 employees get out of Afghanistan.
The main group is working from its headquarters, as they’re getting updates that are not always easy to hear about.READ MORE: S.F. Supervisors Set to Designate Casa Sanchez Bldg. in Mission District a Historical Landmark
Farid Rahimi’s father has been working for the Afghan military along with American forces, and is closely connected to the Roots of Peace organization.
Rahimi says the Taliban recently sent his family a violent warning to sever all ties, before taking over the city of Kabul a week ago.
“The nose of my father is broken,” Rahimi said showing a photo of his injured father. “He has some injuries on the top of head, some on his face. They said, ‘we know you’re working for an American company and if you do not leave, we will kill you.'”
Like so many trying to leave Afghanistan, Rahimi’s father is in hiding, hoping his son who moved to California, after working for Roots of Peace for more than a decade, can help.READ MORE: UPDATE: Vasco Road Reopened in Byron After Multi-Vehicle Injury Crash
“We’ve had four different types of forms that we’ve been given each time,” said Roots of Peace founder Heidi Kuhn. “We fill them out. They’re very arduous, asking for birth certificates, marriage certificates and now thumbprints. How do you get those you know when people are on the run.”
“What a dangerous and serious situation. My father is not allowing my even my brother to go out right now, because that will be so dangerous for them to go out,” said Rahimi.
The Bay Area is home to 60,000 Afghan immigrants, with one of the largest communities in the country in Fremont. The city just launched a relief fund over the weekend, raising more than $20,000 and counting.
“We are, as a nation and like so many other places, dealing with other challenges, but this is one that’s a humanitarian crisis, and we need people to know that we are there for them as communities, as cities, and as leaders,” said Fremont Mayor Lily Mei.
Desperate for help, Rahimi and his family drove from their home in Sacramento to San Rafael to make a personal plea, looking for answers.MORE NEWS: Valley Fair Mall Plan to Charge for Parking Draws Employees' Ire
“Farid and his sister were weeping in front of my house with a small baby and the little daughter Diana, age 14, with the photos of their father,” Kuhn said. “This reminds me of being on the Titanic, arranging the deck chairs, as the ship is going down and asking for more and more forms. You know their lives are at stake, these are not just Afghan employees. To me this is personal.”