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Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

The student news site of Bellaire High School

Three Penny Press

Students for Refugees teaches empathy, broadens perspectives

Provided by Amelie Rozowski
SFR partnered with a restaurant to raise $4,000. Using the money they donated food to Libyan and Syrian refugees.

Originally a middle school IB project started by Carnegie Vanguard junior Humzah Hanif, Students for Refugees (SFR) has blossomed into a national non-profit organization with branches at Carnegie, Debakey, Lamar and most recently, Bellaire.

Junior Amelie Rozowski founded the Bellaire chapter of Students for Refugees Club with the goal of educating her peers on the global refugee crisis.

“Especially with kids that grow up in Bellaire and go to Condit and Pin Oak, it’s like you live in this circle of privilege,” Rozowski said. “You really only experience your life and interact with a select number of students. I think that being involved in a club where you get to experience [different cultures] is really helpful and impactful.”

As Rozowski searched for a sponsor for her club, she encountered biases that only solidified her desire to teach her community about different crises around the world.

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“I said ‘Would you be interested in being a sponsor for my club?’ and [a teacher] was like ‘Refugees? They are probably going to have guns. I don’t trust them,’” Rozowski said. “I was like ‘They are fleeing their countries and persecution, why would they have guns?’”

As an Egyptian immigrant, junior and SFR Vice President Yousef Salem’s personal experience fueled his commitment to the club.

“I’ve seen how bad life is, [how] there’s only one neighborhood that’s good to live in [and] the rest of the country is poor,” Salem said. “I want to educate people so that we help those who have had to leave their homes for various reasons.”

Senior and historian of SFR Eva Bokhari joined the club to interact with her community.

“I want to be able to show people that there are lots of ways that each individual can help others in their communities,” Bokhari said. “[There are] so many opportunities to get involved.”

SFR often partners with the Carnegie, Debakey and Lamar chapters to raise money. Recently, they hosted a bake sale and donated profits to Med Global and Benghazi Al Amal.

SFR hosted a food deliveries at apartment complexes. They delivered food to 280 refugees in Houston. (Provided by Amelie Rozowski)

“We partnered with a restaurant, and we made almost $4,000,” Rozowski said. “We sold a lot of baked goods because a strip of cars was coming by, and we would hold up signs and beg for money. It was actually really fun.”

Rozowski’s favorite activity is the monthly food drives that SFR organizes in which members assemble boxes of food and hand-deliver them to families.

“It’s really cool because you actually get to interact with refugees,” Rozowski said. “[The] community is very vibrant, kids [run] around in the neighborhood and we even played soccer with them. It’s very fulfilling to be able to see the help you are giving.”

While Rozowski continues to make an impact on refugees, she feels that she has also gained from her experiences.

“Volunteering is a two-way street,” Rozowski said. “We help [refugees], and they help us understand better and give us that feeling of satisfaction of helping. [Volunteering] has really brought my friends and I together because being able to spend this allotted time in the day with them where we are moving and delivering supplies has brought us closer.”

SFR will volunteer at the Peace Farm on Feb. 17 to assist Congolese refugees cultivate their farm. For more information, follow SFR on Instagram @sfrbhs and Remind @sfbh.

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    HasetFeb 12, 2024 at 7:16 pm

    wow cool club