Nazareth Academy seniors fundraise for Syria
Students form Seniors for Syria to raise money, awareness
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After learning about the Syrian Refugee Crisis in Contemporary World Issues class at Nazareth Academy, seniors Bridget Brodlo, Maddy Schierl and Molly Owens banded together to form Seniors for Syria. The group began with the original goal of $1,900—$10 for each of the 190 seniors at the Catholic high school. They surpassed that number, raising close to $3,000, Schierl said.
“A few of us were very distraught by the pain and suffering [of] the things we saw [in class], and we were inspired to do something about it,” Brodlo said.
Seniors for Syria formed around the middle of the year when they asked teachers to become involved. The money raised will go to a non-governmental organization called Jusoor, specifically to the Early Education Program, which is dedicated to reintroducing school to young children as a safe space, as most educational experiences for Syrian children have been those of violence, Schierl said. The school experiences of Syrian children are often reflective of the wartime climate in Syria, as the bombing of schools, such as the Idlib school attack, have occurred as a result of the fighting.
“We chose this organization because of its mission of education and its emphasis on those most vulnerable in conflict: children,” Schierl said.
Brodlo, Schierl and Owens were introduced to the Jusoor organization through a Facetime call to a woman who works with Syrian refugees in Lebanon as a part of the United Nations, Owens said.
“As students in a great high school, we know the importance education has, and [we] felt passionate about providing opportunities to others,” Brodlo said.
According to Owens, the money raised by the group will allow 600 3 to 5-year-old refugees to go to school for two years.
“The group has affected my worldview in an extremely positive way,” Brodlo said. “Working with other students and teachers who felt as strongly about this topic as I do made me optimistic about the future. In today’s society, it can feel like your actions have little impact on the world, [but] by starting Seniors for Syria, we directly impacted hundreds of Syrian children.”
The Syrian Refugee Crisis is the result of years of civil war in Syria, according to World Vision. Due to the war, more than half of the population—around 11 million—have been displaced and hundreds of thousands have been killed. With 70 percent of Syrians lacking access to clean water and 80 percent living in poverty in addition to collapsed infrastructure and military strikes, many Syrians have fled their country due to the instability and violence.
To donate or learn more about Jusoor Syria, click the link below: