“An entire generation of Syrian children and youth are living through conflict and displacement. They are on the verge of being a lost generation.” No Lost Generation, a new club on campus, is working to keep just this from happening. Anna Thoet, a sophomore majoring in International Politics and History, is the founder and president of this new club that raises awareness for Syrian refugee children. Their mission states that “[they] are a student group tasked by the US Department of State to promote education, support and protection of youth impacted by the global refugee crisis.”
No Lost Generation was started in 2013 by the State Department, initially in order to educate Syrian refugee kids. In 2015, the organization spread to the college level to get a foundation for growth. The first club started at George Washington University and is currently expanding to universities across America. George Washington University presented No Lost Generation to the United States Agency for International Development, a government agency, which Anna’s sister works for. Her sister told her about the club, and Anna contacted Matt Donovan, the president of No Lost Generation at George Washington University to get information about starting the club at Penn State. Over the summer, she put together an executive board, created a constitution, and arranged for Dr. Gartner, the director for the Penn State School of International Affairs, to be the club advisor.
No Lost Generation has five committees under Anna, the president, and Jack Davenport, the chief of protocol. The committees include Events, Partnerships, Advocacy, Outreach, and Funding, each led by a director. Each club member gets the opportunity to choose which committee they would like to join, and they will be doing things such as plan fundraisers, deal with non-governmental organizations, public relations, and help to expand to other universities. Club meetings will take place on Wednesdays at 7 p.m., in 373 Willard. Members will talk together as whole in order to collaborate and then split up into committees for assigned projects. In the coming months, the club will be involved in running clothing drives, tutoring kids over Skype, and finding local government branches relocating refugees.
The first club meeting will entail a documentary showing, followed by a question and answer information session with an expert on the refugee crisis. “I am most excited for the prospects of the future of the club and the potential good that can come out of raising awareness for this incredible cause,” says Anna. “I hope that by bringing awareness to our school community, we can create a dedicated group of people to helping refugees.”
The first meeting is on Wednesday, September 28 at 7 p.m. in 373 Willard. For more information on No Lost Generation, visit the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Like the ‘No Lost Generation’ Facebook page for updates about the club and more information about the first meeting.