A group of desperate Hazara Afghans are asking for the Manjimup community to help them organise a fundraiser for visa applications in order to save family members still trapped in war-torn Afghanistan. The Hazara people are an ethnic minority in Afghanistan and have suffered a history of oppression and genocide which has only worsened under the rule of the Taliban. Manjimup is home to one of only four WA-based Hazara communities, with the others including Mt Barker, Katanning and Albany. About 20 members from the Manjimup Hazara community met Manjimup Shire councillor Denise Jenkins, migration agent Barry Pike and Hazara community spokesperson Abdul Haidari on October 9 to discuss the issues facing their families in Afghanistan. Mr Haidari, who has lived in Manjimup since 2000, said he and his people had been enduring ethnic cleansing for more than a century and it was important for this potential fundraiser to go ahead. “We are human, we have a heart, we all have feelings,” he said. “At the end of the day if someone really wants to try and help, you know we can’t bring everybody to this country, but still something is better than nothing.” Mr Haidari said the Hazara people in Manjimup were good workers who plied their trade everywhere from vineyards to avocado farms and apple orchards. He said if more Hazara people were brought over to WA they would help fill the labour shortages plaguing the South West region. “The country is built by foreign (people), we are all working, we are standing side-by-side,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what culture you come from or what culture I come from, we are both working in the same area, helping each other as a family.” Manjimup councillor Denise Jenkins said if anyone wanted information or was keen on trying to help organise or donate to the fundraiser, they could reach out and contact her.