Students raise money to support refugees

Members of the Refugee Outreach Collective raise more than $1,000 for the Global Classroom Program

| Author: Sarah Buckley | Media Contact: Sarah Buckley

Members of the registered student organization Refugee Outreach Collective (ROC CMU) hosted a dinner and silent auction January 13th to raise more than $1,000 for the Global Classroom Program. The proceeds will help fund electricity, access to Wi-Fi, computer repairs and other educational supplies for forced migrants living in the Dzaleka Refugee Camp in Malawi to enroll in online courses at Central Michigan University.

The program began in 2020 when political science faculty member Prakash Adhikari allowed college-aged individuals at the camp to join his online international relations classes and to give his CMU students the opportunity to interact with the refugees and learn about life in a refugee camp.

Prakash says that allowing displaced persons in Dzaleka to take classes alongside CMU students provides a rare opportunity for them to exchange ideas, cultures and lived experiences with their American counterparts. CMU has waived the tuition costs for up to 20 Dzaleka students.

“The long-term objective is to demonstrate CMU’s commitment to providing educational opportunities to forcibly displaced individuals,” Adhikari said. “The program is being implemented in partnership with the 501(c), non-governmental organization Refugee Outreach Collective, which has a chapter at CMU.”

ROC CMU president Tyler Zimmerman helped organize the silent auction with items donated by local businesses, families, and individuals. He joined ROC CMU because he believes education is freedom, and he wants to create opportunities for those who haven’t been as fortunate.

“Hosting an event around ROC’s Global Classroom Program seemed like a perfect way for ROC CMU to get involved in expanding educational access to others,” Zimmerman said.

The Refugee Outreach Collective is open to all CMU students and meets every other Tuesday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. in Anspach 169.

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