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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    GiveBack KickBack an entertaining chance to help refugees

    Wyclef Jean isn’t the only refugee we should be thinking about. In fact, although we don’t hear about it very often, there are somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 refugees living in Pima County alone.

    By definition, refugees are those who were targeted for oppression in their home countries based on their religion, ethnicity and other factors. Most refugees now living in Tucson have fled from Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as Sudan, Bhutan, Somalia and the Congos. They oftentimes enter the country with no education, and many of them can’t speak English. Integration into society is difficult, and government funding doesn’t last long.

    That’s where volunteers and nonprofit organizations can help. One of these groups, called the Arizona Refugee Connection, or ARC, is established right here on the UA campus. The ARC is a small group of UA students that strives to help integrate refugees into society here in Pima County.

    Dr. Cindi Gilliland, a senior lecturer at Eller College of Management, is the founder and faculty advisor for the ARC. This Friday, they are hosting a large fundraising event called ARC’s GiveBack KickBack. Gilliland explains it this way: “”It’s going to be a big street party, and the idea is that we want to have a really fun event. But at the same time, know that the money is going to make a positive difference.””

    GiveBack KickBack will take place from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19 at Main Gate Square, and admission is free. The street party features a variety of entertainment from a DJ spinoff, to performances by African drummers and Bhutanese dancers. There will also be carnival games, artists, merchants, chair massages and henna art done by a Somali refugee.

    The event will raise money for the ARC, as well as their recent project “”A School for Abul,”” which seeks to give clean water and a school building to a small village in Sudan, Africa. The ARC hopes to raise this money through donation booths at the event and the proceeds from product sales. Several surrounding restaurants are also offering to donate a percentage of their profits that night, including Silver Mine Subs, Malibu Yogurt, Johnny Rocket’s and Espresso Art.

    Gilliland explained that the ARC is excited, and the event is sure to be a fun way to make a difference. “”It’s local people. It’s our students. It’s our community. I have been overwhelmed to see how many students are willing to put time and effort into something to help other people.””

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