Johns Creek High students seek to help Palestinian children

Group aims to get youth involved in raising awareness

Dania and Ayah Ibrahim sign runners and walkers in at the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund Walk for Their Life 5K.

Even from a young age, Dania Ibrahim has been passionate about helping others.

That’s how the Johns Creek High School senior became involved with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund Youth Committee. The group is a non-political, non-profit organization dedicated to fighting the medical and humanitarian crisis facing children in the Middle East

“We meet regularly to plan our events, designate work, do any necessary research and to reach out to other youth to help make our events successful,” Dania said. “We also help by meeting with the children that come to Atlanta for treatment, making them feel comfortable and welcome. We aim to be their family away from home.”

The youth committee was started five years ago with the purpose of getting the youth involved in organizing and implementing different activities to create awareness and raise funds, Ibrahim said. She has been involved with the group since its inception and is currently a co-president.

Her co-president, Ayah Ibrahim, no relation, is a senior at Centennial High School. She, too, has strived to be a leader in her community.

“Attending a public high school as an Arab-American Muslim has required me to step outside my comfort zone, take chances and build bridges,” Ayah said. “As an Arab-American, being born into two very different cultures, has helped me embrace a diverse world. Growing up in a socially conscious environment influenced my motivation and decision to establish the first youth chapter within the International Palestine Children’s Relief Fund with my best friend, Dania.”
Both of Dania’s parents were born in Palestine. She’s visited multiple times and has seen firsthand the need for an organization like this.

“Because of the casual format of our events, we have been able to attract a wide variety of people,” Dania said. “That includes friends from our schools and neighborhoods. It calls attention to the limited healthcare available to the children of Palestine and neighboring countries.”

The group’s future plans include garnering the support of a larger audience and continuing to grow their events, Dania said. Ideally, they’re hoping to have a bigger, well-known 5K someday.

For now, they’ll focus on their two main events of the year which are a trivia night and a 5K walk/run, which have become annual events due to their success. They also play an important role in helping with events put on by the overall foundation board, such as the yearly gala and chili cook-off.

“Giving the youth a voice in their community and opportunities to learn the soft skills of leadership, cooperation and dedication set them up to be successful individuals all while selflessly serving a purpose greater than themselves,” Dania said. ■


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