October 10, 2018
Writer: Bryanna Willis
This Saturday A.J. Frazier is hosting a run as a fundraiser for refugees in Idaho called “Run for a Refugee.”
A.J. Frazier has been planning this run for the past couple months. He told BYU-Idaho Radio he came up with the idea after becoming involved with a club on campus called Project R.
Frazier says the club does a weekly Skype call with refugees in the refugee center in Twin Falls. They help them with their personal and academic goals.
They also work with refugees on campus, encouraging them to talk to other refugees and show them that college is possible.
“I decided to host this race to advocate for refugees that I had met… we are just trying to show our love and support for them,” Frazier said.
Refugees in Idaho
Many people might not be aware of the refugees right here in Idaho.
“In the last five years there has been over 1,000 refugees resettled in eastern Idaho alone,” Frazier said.
Most of those coming are from the Congo. Other countries included in the number are Egypt, Nigeria, Burma, Eritrea, Sudan, Ukraine, Iran, Iraq and Pakistan.
Frazier says these people are coming here to be resettled permanently.
One refugee Frazier helped was from a camp in Thailand and had moved to Utah. He was working to get his driver’s license, apply for college and worked several other jobs.
“I was proud of him for that, most don’t think about college,” Frazier said. “Most are stuck in the mindset of just trying to live life hour by hour.”
To help, Frazier explains that at the refugee camp in Twin Falls there are English classes offered to them by the College of Southern Idaho.
Many refugees don’t have the resources to attend the classes.
“Most of the refugees can’t attend, mainly transport,” Frazier said. “A lot of this will go towards… gas, fuel, transportation means and just making it really easy for them… and although it might seem small, this is a big thing for them.”
Making a Difference
Frazier says they are still looking for runners and volunteers. Project R will be hosting a volunteer meeting Thursday at 6 p.m. at BYU-Idaho in the Romney Building Room 145.
“When you have a vision and something you really want to do you can create it through diligent and belief this can happen,” Frazier said.
Frazier said to anyone who is wanting to make a different being fearless is key.
“We all are our own person with our own talents and gifts and if we are fearless and go out there… it will work,” Frazier said.
To anyone who wants to be involved in refugee work and don’t know where to start Frazier says to start here.
“You can come and run, you can come and donate online a dollar or two,” Frazier said. “Hopefully this will be something we can continuously do in Rexburg to show our love and support. For those who want to make a difference they can run for a refugee with us.”