Where we started...
- We formed Students for Refugees with our awesome teacher advisor, Margaret Favretti, after first visiting Heidelberg to examine the causes and effects of the refugee crisis in Germany. We were shocked and astounded by the things we saw... but we had no idea how far we would come!
- From small meetings and many defeats, we initially had a difficult time getting involved with a crisis happening across the sea, but we persisted, attending refugee meetings and connecting with organizations across New York.
- But as the horrific sentiment to the helpless grew in the media, our efforts only increased. When we were offered the opportunity to help resettle a refugee family, we jumped and worked for weeks to help... and since then, its been a blur.
- By December, we had already sent our first container to Syria, and after buying 300 "Refugee Welcome" stickers, we staged a massive disorganized fundraising and sold out all 300 in just two days!! After selling thousands more, these red stickers are peppered on bumpers and laptops across New York... and beyond. Using this money, we sponsored our first "tent" school in Azraq, Jordan... a successful program from which we have all of the pictures of refugees on this website!
- Seeing the incredible support we received and the growth of our club, we wanted to make our efforts bigger... and bigger. So we galvanized our students and began to spread to other schools.
- Joining together in joint school events and fundraisers, resettling refugees together, attending county legislator meetings, and protesting in New York and DC, we made our club into an organization... and the rest is history.
- (we have left out A LOT of our story, full of inspiring small moments and large projects, but it became a bit difficult to read!)
HOW FAR WE HAVE COME...
Through rigorous outreach and dedication of students, we have managed to spread the reach of our organization to over 20 chapters around the world with dozens if not hundreds of students in each.
After a year of planning, we have almost finished fundraising for our school for 150 displaced Syrian children in Northern Jordan! Working closely with the Jordanian Government and our U.N. partners (Middle Eastern Children's Institute), the school will start operating in March 2018. Thanks to our awesome students and countless fundraisers, including an anonymous sponsor who promised to match all donations, we have reached $80,000 in donations, meaning we are in the home stretch of reaching our end goal of $100,000.
We received an award for our work at the Sousa Mendes Foundation's Celebration of Freedom on October 29th, attending their gala with some of the most prominent citizens of New York City. Bill De Blasio, the mayor of NYC, and Andrew Cuomo, the governor of New York, were among those in attendance. We have also been invited to a U.N. conference to discuss the loss of education for impact of
After partnering with the leaders of I.R.I.S. and H.I.A.S. (two of the nine Resettlement agencies in the country) and with dozens of other organizations, we have established dozens of programs and events, sending clothes containers to Syria with NuDay, running weekly football programs with refugee children, teaching lessons about the refugee crisis in Elementary and Middle Schools, and advocating for the displaced group in large rallies across the US (and much much more...)
Many thanks to a lead organizer of WRTF, Mary Refling, who gave us a shout out for civic action, on the NPR, Brian Lehrer show with Eljoy Williams, President of the Brooklyn NAACP. Listen to the segment on Civics, starting at minute 19:30. http://www.wnyc.org/story/the-brian-lehrer-show-2017-07-18