The Vacation Rental Industry has helped communities come together and lent a hand in troubled times. Airbnb in particular has provided housing to 25,000 refugees around the world over the past few years alone. So it certainly came as no surprise when Airbnb announced the temporary rehousing of up to 20,000 Afghan Refugees in the coming weeks. With the recent demand for housing Afghan refugees, the company decided to launch a new website dedicated to finding these people temporary places to call home as they leave theirs.
The Taliban, a militant group that ran the country in the late 1990s, took over control of most of the country including the capital, Kabul in August 2021.
The U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001 ousted the insurgents from power, although the Militant group with extremist ideologies remained in the country striking attacks from time to time.
With the Biden administration pulling out from Afghanistan after two decades, the West-backed government that has run the country for 20 years collapsed. Afghans, fearing for their future, raced to the airport, one of the last routes out of the country.
Thousands of Afghans rushed into Kabul’s main airport immediately after the Taliban Victory, some so desperate to escape the Taliban that they held onto a military jet as it took off and plunged to their deaths.
Afghan citizens fear the country could descend into chaos and the Taliban could carry out revenge attacks against those who worked with Americans or the ousted government.
Many also fear the Taliban will reimpose the harsh interpretation of Islamic law that they relied on when they ran Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001 where women were barred from attending school or working outside their homes.
Women were also forced to wear the all-encompassing burqa and to be accompanied by a male relative whenever they went outside. The Taliban banned music, cut off the hands of thieves and stoned adulterers.
Since taking over, the Talian have promised to respect women’s rights, forgive those who fought against them and prevent Afghanistan from being used as a base for terror attacks. However, majority Afghans are skeptical of the promises.
As soon as Afghans fleeing their country was reported, airbnb.org and Airbnb announced that Airbnb.org will offer free, temporary housing to 20,000 Afghan refugees worldwide. The main contributors to the stays would be Airbnb’s Chief Brian Chesky, Airbnb.org and Airbnb.org Refugee Fund.
The Vacation Rental Platform recognized the displacement and resettlement of refugees in the US and around the world as a substantial and immediate humanitarian crisis.
Airbnb’s CEO Brian Chesky said, "I hope this inspires other business leaders to do the same. There's no time to waste."
Since the announcement, Airrbnb received enormous interest from people within the Airbnb community and beyond, looking for ways to support Airbnb and its partner organizations to house Afghan refugees, with most offering their space free of charge.
Corporate Social Responsibility is a form of international, private business self-regulation, which contributes to the philanthropic, activist, or charitable goals of a business by engaging in or supporting or volunteering ethically-oriented practices. Most businesses employ CSR to its Corporate Governance document that is deemed as the law of any company. In recent times more and more corporates have adopted these practices with welcome arms and the Vacation Rental Industry has been no exception.
Corporate Social Responsibility activities can extend to anything from caring for the environment, animals, children, refugees and other vulnerable parts of society. It aims to bring about better living conditions for all stakeholders concerned.
As such, especially in the given crisis, it is no secret that Vacation Rental Managers and Property Managers are better positioned to offer immediate help as shelter is the need of the hour for thousands of people.
Whilst reports indicate the response to this gesture has been overwhelming, no help is too much help to meet the unprecedented need for temporary and emergency stays for refugees arriving from Afghanistan who leave their homes with just suitcases, hoping for safety.
Together, Airbnb and Airbnb.org will cover the cost of 20,000 stays, but with your help, perhaps they can do even more. If you are a Property Manager or Host and you like to support this initiative, there are four simple ways to do it.
1. Host a refugee - Honestly, it is as easy as that. If you have a vacation rental property or any available space to offer, you can sign up on Sign up to host a refugee to provide free or discounted stays to Afghan refugees. Airbnb waives off all its fees on all refugee stays.
2. Donate - If you are eager to help but, for a variety of reasons, might not be able to open your home, you could donate to Airbnb.org as every dollar donated contributes to fill the critical need for emergency stays. More details on how to get involved can be found at Airbnb.org/refugees.
How donating works
3. Host with Discount - Help welcome even more people by hosting discounted short-term stays. Airbnb provides Hosts with dedicated community support and the USD $1,000,000 Host Guarantee.
4. Share - We live in an era where with just a click of a button, you could reach a magnitude of people. The more people we can reach, the more people we can help. Spread the word to help Airbnb widen the welcome for refugees in this time of crisis. You could also share this article to create more awareness around the subject.