Humanitarian Engagement office reaches out to local Muslim refugees

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Southern students are given the opportunity to team up with Adventist Muslim Friendship Association (AMFA), which helps build relationships between the Adventist and Muslim communities. 

The Humanitarian Engagement office collaborates with AMFA by providing tutors for Muslim refugee children in the local area. Southern students are paired with a child either in elementary or high school and tutor them for the entire semester. 

Students of any major can be part of this project. Junior political science major Marlyn Antwan tells her experience of working with refugee children. 

“The most memorable thing for me has been forming a friendship with the child that I am tutoring,” Antwan said. “At the beginning, our interactions consisted of just tutoring, but now we have a friendship and talk about other things.”

Sarah Klingbeil, junior ESL and math major is the AMFA liaison and coordinator. She said joining the AMFA program can make a difference in the kids’ lives.

“You don’t think tutoring is that important, but a lot of these kids really need it because many of the parents don’t speak English and are not able to access academic help,”  Klingbeil said.

Klingbeil’s role is to explore potential service opportunities, communicate between AMFA and Humanitarian Engagement and coordinate Southern’s two service projects with AMFA.

Another collaboration between the Humanitarian Engagement office and AMFA is the Peace of Thread program. Through this program, Muslim refugee women can earn money by sewing beautifully-designed purses and tote bags. The purses are then sold, and profits go to each of the women that made the purse. Students help by cutting fabric designs.

To get involved with AMFA or Peace of Thread, stop by the Humanitarian Engagement office or email them at Tutoring starts the beginning of each semester, and the Peace of Thread service event happens once a month. 

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