Elmhurst College’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) took home an award for Outstanding Community Service at a Muslims for Humanity fundraiser banquet aimed at providing support for Syrian refugees on Sunday, April 10.
They received the award as a result of their continued involvement in a refugee assistance service project, called the National Refugee Project, alongside nonprofit organization ICNA (Islamic Circle of North America) Relief, a subgroup of the umbrella organization MAS-ICNA.
MSA President Biya Ahmed described the National Refugee Project, which is a weeklong nationwide movement for refugee support by MSA’s across the country, and explained her chapter’s involvement in the Project.
“We participated in a national MSA project called #NationalRefugeeProject started by the University of Kentucky MSA, in which the goal was to raise awareness and funds for the growing refugee crisis,” she said.
“We held a henna booth and sold shirts to raise funds that we donated to the ICNA Refugee Program, and had the director of the program, a former refugee herself, come speak to us about her story and what we can do to help.”
While MSA was recognized for the work they have already done contributing to this project, the members believe there is still “so much left to be done for the refugee cause,” according to Ahmed.
Because of this, Uroosa Nafasat, vice president of MSA, was both surprised and humbled when she found out they would be receiving an award for their work.
“Winning the award felt nice because it made me feel like the work our MSA did made an impact, but for me it was more of a reminder that we should continue to give back to the community, whether it be to refugee assistance or hunger prevention,” she said.
EC’s MSA has expressed its hopes to stay involved with more service projects both within and outside the EC campus community, which Ahmed believes is their job.
“I hope and pray that our MSA continues to bring about goodness both on and off our campus. If we're doing that then we've done our job, regardless of if there are awards involved,” she said.