PVS & AHEAD: Winter Support for Niger
During the month of December, Pleasant View School students worked with community member and PVS Board President, Mr. Mutlu Celikok to collect clothing for the less fortunate in Niger. This was done in collaboration with AHEAD, “African Health, Education, and Development.” AHEAD is a nonprofit charity organization “committed to making healthcare, education, and economic empowerment accessible to as many Africans as possible.” This charity aims to improve living conditions specifically in Niger.
Niger is a country in the Sahel region of Africa with some of the worst living conditions on earth according to several metrics such as the Human Development Index where Niger ranks 189th out of 189 countries. To help some of the impoverished people in Niger, Mr. Celikok thought of starting a clothing drive aimed at collecting quality clothing suitable for warmer weather. When speaking with Mr. Celikok, Yasmeen Mannan, a sophomore and member of the Immigration Reform Advocacy group, recalled how she “welcomed the idea wholeheartedly as [she] had seen the generosity displayed by our parents, teachers, and students alike for various causes.”
Afterwards, many other community members volunteered to help with the drive. PVS students played an essential role in this clothing drive, helping Mr. Celikok collect winter clothes. One student, Fayadh Chowdhury, a freshman, communicated the purpose and importance of the clothing drive to community members. Fayadh wrote a letter to parents and students. He says, “The main purpose of the letter was to inform the parents and students about the dire situation in Niger as well as show what PVS students are doing to help.” Through his message, Fayadh was able to raise awareness about the situation in Niger, as well as notify future donors about the cause. During the month, donors could send clothing to the school where other students and staff members helped collect and prepare them for shipping.
Through collaboration with community members like Mr. Celikok, AHEAD is able to help many impoverished people better their lives, and in the words of Yasmeen Mannan, “What started out as just an idea developed into what is now a growing relationship between PVS and AHEAD through our student-led organizations, such as the Immigration Reform Advocacy Group.” Needless to say, further cooperation between students of PVS and AHEAD is likely in the foreseeable future.