At Carry the Future, we believe that everyone can do something. Two eighth graders in New Jersey are doing just that. Meet our newest world changers: Mia and Daniela, creators of @recall_the_refugees, who are using a school project to help refugee families.
Through fundraising and advocacy, the young women have raised over $200 for Carry the Future. In February, they started an instagram account dedicated to raising awareness about the refugee crisis. Each week, they post a fact about refugees, in hopes of educating others and raising funds for Carry the Future as part of a service learning project.
Many schools in the United States are now implementing a service learning aspect to their curriculum, where students are required to do various forms of community volunteer work. The hope is that students become engaged and educated about societal issues through hands on learning outside of the classroom. Students often choose projects centered on the environment, bullying, or feeding the local homeless. Mia and Daniela chose an international topic that is also personal to them.
“What made us want to help refugees was just that our parents are refugees as well. They came into this country and were able to make a living here. So we wanted to help those people who weren’t as lucky as our parents were when they came here,” they said.
Mia and Daniela searched for an organization to partner with and found Carry the Future. “We came across Carry the Future and thought the work [they] are doing is amazing.”
The two wanted to join in the efforts to make a difference: “If they [our parents] weren’t able to make a living here, we wonder what life for us might have been like. So we just wanted to give to those people who weren’t as lucky,” they shared.
Their instagram further explains: “Our main goal is to help international (Syrian) refugee families who weren’t as lucky as our parents when they wanted to move to another country. War and other hardships cause them to move away from their home country, and not many of them have the right necessities, especially mothers.”
Daniela and Mia set up a bake sale at their local library, where they sold chocolate to raise money for Carry the Future. During the bake sale, they were able to share knowledge about refugees and spark conversations. One customer, an immigration lawyer, informed the two about the work she does. “We learned a lot from it,” Mia and Daniela said.
Their instagram account @recall_the_refugees is growing with 54 followers and 39 following their refugee posts. But Mia and Daniela are currently looking for ways to keep people interested in their work. “Something that we want people to learn about refugees is that they are people that basically came here not knowing what to expect. But they are here, and they are brave, and incredible, and they are true role models of when the going gets tough.”
Click here to learn how you can do something to help refugees!
Written by Kait Van Riper