As Fur is Phased Out of Fashion, More Than 200 Donated Fur Coats Are Handed Out to Afghanis in Need

Photo by Life for Relief and Development

As the fashion industry continues to phase out the use of animal fur, more and more people are cleansing their closets of all their rabbit, fox, and mink furs.

Rather than let those fur coats go to waste, however, the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) is putting them to good use by donating them to Afghani people in need.

Last week, PETA partnered with Life for Relief and Development to hand out more than 200 donated fur coats to the people of Kabul.

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With temperatures dipping well below freezing, the coats are expected to offer some much-needed warmth to the men, women, and children living in poverty in the capital city of Afghanistan.

“Nothing can bring back the rabbits, minks, and foxes … but the coats that they died for can at least be used for good,” says PETA Executive Vice President Tracy Reiman. “PETA encourages everyone to donate their fur or fur-trimmed coats to help those who have but few options in life—the only people with any excuse to wear them.”

Photo by PETA

Life for Relief and Development CEO Dr. Hany Saqr added: “With all of those that are less fortunate around the world, we at Life are honored to be able to work with PETA to give warmth during the harsh winter to those in need.”

This is not the first time that animal fur has been used to warm the less fortunate; back in November 2018, PETA and Life for Relief handed out 280 coats to Syrian refugees who had fled to Iraq.

PETA’s fur donation program also sends unwanted coats to homeless shelters and wildlife rehabilitation centers so they can be used as bedding for orphaned animals.

If you want to donate one of your own fur coats, you can visit the organization’s website to learn more.

(WATCH the video below)

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Girls in War Zone Find Their Power On Skateboards; Documentary About Them Takes Home the Oscar (Watch)

skateistan-girls-skate-garden-kabul1-jessica-fulfurd-dobsonPhoto by Jessica Fulford-Dobson

In Afghanistan, it’s considered offensive and taboo for women to ride bicycles—but one nonprofit has given these girls a different kind of fun on wheels.

Skateistan is an organization that uses skateboarding to helps to empower marginalized youth and rescue them from the streets so they can be transitioned into a community that will teach them about leadership and independence.

Learning To Skateboard In A Warzone (If You’re a Girl)—a short film documentary about the organization’s mission in Afghanistan—recently brought Skateistan back into national headlines after it won the 2020 Academy Award for Best Short Film this week, although the nonprofit has been changing lives since 2007.

skate-board-skateistan-girlPhoto by Jessica Fulford-Dobson

According to the Skateistan website, over 60% of their students are low-income and do not have access to education—but the organization believes that once they hook the kids into the program, the possibilities are endless.

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Whether it’s instilling feelings of confidence and autonomy through skateboarding, or simply letting children know that someone cares, the program has encouraged kids to believe in themselves.

“When skateboarding came into Afghanistan,” Skate Girls of Kabul photographer Jessica Fulford-Dobson told BBC, “they didn’t even know what it was.”

Inspired by the young women’s joy, the photographer first approached Skateistan about documenting their life and community in 2012.

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One of her portraits of the skaters later ended up taking home the 2nd place prize in the 2014 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

aghani-skate-board-girlPhoto by Jessica Fulford-Dobson

“[The skater] first caught my eye because she was wearing such a beautiful color,” recalled Fulford-Dobson to the news outlet. “She’s just immaculate. From the way she has tied her headscarf so beautifully and so naturally, you see that she has an innate sense of grace. Her little hennaed hand rests gently—yet possessively—on the skateboard, and how small she seems beside it! I love her assurance: her firm, steady gaze. One feels a sense of depth in her eyes, even though she is just 7 years of age.”

After just one year of attending the Back to School Skate program, the girl in the prize-winning portrait (left) passed her first three educational grades, and enrolled in the national school system—all will continuing to skate in her free time.

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It may not be a conventional way of offering an education, but since Skateistan started in 2007, they have helped teach thousands of kids—44% of whom are girls—around the world to skate each week.

You can also donate to the organization on the Skateistan website or purchase Jessica Fulford Dobson’s book “Skate Girls of Kabul” here.

(WATCH the short film’s trailer below)

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