Student's Recycling Program Aids Refugees
As students prepared to leave campus for the summer, the Center for Faith and Public Life Campus Sustainability grant recipient, Camille Giacovas ’18, launched the Recycle for Refugees Project. The project saw Giacovas ’18; Anya Cullen ’17; Larkin Brown ’18; Julie Mughal, associate director of the Center for Faith and Public Life; Pejay Lucky, assistant director of Residence Life; and others collect used furniture and home goods from Fairfield students for refugee families.
Over a span of three days, volunteers visited student residences at the beach, townhouses, and residence halls and collected a variety of items including dining tables, chairs, beds, nightstands, desks, lamps, dressers, kitchenware, mattresses, and more.
“At this time of global crisis, the program is an impactful way for students to have a positive effect on the life of newly resettled refugees in Bridgeport. The refugee families flee war, having experienced horrors that are beyond our comprehension. They arrive with very little, save the hope for a better future,” stated Mughal.
The project is in collaboration with the International Institute of Connecticut, Inc. (IICONN)’s Refugee Resettlement Program. The 160 refugee families that will be resettled by IICONN in 2017 are arriving from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Columbia, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Ethiopia, and often arrive with minimal possessions. Fairfield University currently partners with IICONN for the Youth Refugee Mentorship Program, conducting service learning courses through volunteering, and offering a number of internships for Fairfield students. The furniture and home goods collected will be distributed by IICONN to the resettled refugee families.
At the end of the drive, the furniture and home goods collected by students valued at over $2,975. Mughal continued, “Students did not just generously donate a couch or dining table, they helped ensure a welcoming and comfortable home to these families as they start a new life in the United States.”
Pictured: Camille Giacovas '18 and Amanj Dze from IICONN