Students for Refugees has started a chapter at PMHS this fall. The club aims to hold events to help refugees around the world. The Pelham branch was spearheaded by junior Steph Munn and is advised by social studies teacher Ms. Rice. Munn was prompted to start the club by a project for the human rights elective.
“I moved here from Russia two years ago, so I’m very passionate about helping to make the resettlement processes of people from foreign countries as smooth as possible, whether those people came here by their own choice, or were forcibly displaced,” Munn said.
Although there are not many refugees living here in Pelham, the organization helps to aid refugees beyond the greater Westchester area. Students for Refugees’ mission is of tremendous importance, as the numbers of internationally displaced persons continue to rise. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, the number is currently at an all-time high of 6.85 million, in which 24.5 million are refugees.
“I started out trying to help immigrants, but realized that I could make the greatest difference in the lives of refugees in the area,” said Munn. “I started the club when I was looking into working with refugees, and it really took off.”
Students for Refugees has quickly instituted their initiatives this year. They hosted a bake sale on November 7, as well as a toiletry drive from October 29 to November 9. Both events were a hugely successful, and are evidence of the club’s promising future. On the horizon, students can expect a simulation in which they can experience the daily life and activities of a refugee, most likely coming sometime in early 2019.