The Pacific Times | The Only Student-Run News Website in Natomas

NP3 High Club Helps Afghan Refugee Families

By Kristen Chung
Staff Writer | The Pacific Times

In response to the Taliban’s recent takeover of Afghanistan, seniors Zain Mahmood and Alina Susu decided to reboot the Refugees in Crisis Club at NP3.

“There was a huge exodus of Afghans, a lot of them coming to Sacramento, so Zain, Katelynn, Mr. England, and I wanted to help ease their move and warmly welcome them to Sacramento by providing essential household items. We also wanted to raise awareness for the humanitarian crisis and provide students, teachers, and families with an opportunity to help refugees,” said club leader Alina Susu.

The club partners with Sacramento World Relief, a local organization which provides incoming refugees and immigrants with basic necessities such as toiletries, clothing, and social services. 

Refugees in Crisis Club was originally started four years ago by alumni Saja Zidan, who was in Jonathan England’s advisory class at the time. She started it in her junior year, and it later on became her senior project. Under Zidan’s leadership, the club welcomed incoming Afghan refugees at the airport, as well as donated items to the Sacramento Food Bank, according to England. 

In August, the club held a donation drive for supplies needed by refugees. Students and staff came together to donate bathroom, bedding, cleaning, and food items. An entire classroom was filled with supplies within a month.

In November, club members delivered the donated items directly to the settled refugee families in Sacramento. The club members have been able to visit six families so far, who all reside in the Del Paso Heights and Arden region.

“We hope to offer as much relief as possible, helping these settled refugee families through local contributions,” senior Katelynn Le, a club member, stated. 

Describing their visits, Susu said, “The visits went extremely well. The families were all super kind and thankful; you could physically see the gratitude and joy in their eyes which reminded of the importance of what we were doing.”

England added, “The main thing that I enjoy seeing is the change that our students go through when they realize that they can actually have a direct impact on the lives of these families.”

Now approaching its fourth year, the Refugees In Crisis club plans to become a permanent part of NP3’s community.

“This started as a senior project, but now will grow into a renewable club for future classes to participate in,” said Le.

“Moving forward, we need to gather more supplies, specifically diapers and bath mats. We also hope to do more for Afghan refugees and maybe even expand outside of Afghan refugees and help other groups like perhaps Haitian refugees or Syrian refugees,” said Mahmood.

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