Bay Area nonprofit says 'Taliban security are asking for the names' of their Afghan employees

ByTim Johns KGO logo
Monday, August 23, 2021
Bay Area nonprofit racing to save Afghan employees' lives
It's a plea the Kuhns have taken to heart. Working tirelessly to file the reams of paperwork to get their people out of Afghanistan.

MARIN COUNTY, Calif. (KGO) -- For the past week, Heidi Kuhn has been working nonstop trying to save lives.

"None of us a week ago expected this to happen," she said.

RELATED: At least 7 killed in panicked crush at Kabul airport amid Afghanistan evacuations

Heidi, along with her husband Gary, run Roots of Peace.

A Marin County-based nonprofit organization that works in war-torn countries clearing landmines, and replacing them with farmland.

"When we first arrived in Afghanistan, people were literally eating grass to stay alive that spring. They had no crops," gary said.

The Kuhns employ about 360 people in Afghanistan, and have been working, so far without success, to evacuate dozens of their staff. Many of whom have already faced threats.

WATCH: San Rafael nonprofit pleads for help evacuating 360 Afghan employees in Kabul

As the Taliban moves in on Afghanistan's capital city, a local nonprofit is pleading for help to evacuate their 360 Afghan employees in Kabul.

"We had some of the Taliban security asking for the names of all our staff, their home addresses and their phone numbers," Gary said.

On Friday evening, Farid Rahimi showed up at the Kuhns home from Sacramento.

His father worked for Roots of Peace Afghanistan for 15 years.

He drove the Kuhns and ABC7's Cheryl Jennings on a mission through Afghanistan.

WATCH: ABC7 News Anchor Cheryl Jennings interviews Afghanistan president

Cheryl and President Ghani sat in his private office, where he shared his dreams to help restore his country's economy through agriculture.

Rahimi says his father was beaten by Taliban forces this week because of the work he's done with the group.

Rahimi begged the Kuhns to help him.

It's a plea the Kuhns have taken to heart. Working tirelessly to file the reams of paperwork to get their people out.

However, with so much out of their control, the challenges can seem insurmountable.

RELATED: 18,000 Afghan interpreters in limbo over US visas promised to them

"The Taliban need to follow through on their statements. If they don't then the international community's just going to back away from the country, and who knows what will happen then," said Gary.

However, despite the difficulties that may lie ahead, the Kuhns say they will stop at nothing to rescue their people.

"I will take whatever measures I humanly may take not to turn my eyes away from the deserving families, farmers, and, yes, friends in Afghanistan," said Heidi.

For ways to help Roots of Peace, visit here.