Catholics and Muslims working together
What started out as a group of women striving to make the community a better place, the Muslim Sisterhood of Dayton, has expanded and now reaches out to the children in the Dayton area. Kaukab Husain, a Centerville teacher, has invested her time in showing what it means to give to others and be a bigger part of something other than yourself. She founded MYO, Muslim Youth Outreach.
“With the thoughts of terror in our daily lives, we need to look at the importance of our work. We’re all equal. We want to leave a positive footprint of those around us,” said one MYO student.
Muslim Youth Outreach was formed when Husain was approached by the Catholic Social Services regarding some refugee families who moved into the Dayton area and didn’t speak English. The Catholic organization sought someone to help bridge the language barrier. Husain thought, who better to help than students. Thus, forming the MYO group.
But, the opportunities for this outreach program didn’t stop at tutoring, it only blossomed into more. It transformed the lives of many muslim youth to create a positive influence in a world that needs much help. Whether providing tutoring for refugees, feeding the hungry, helping seniors, providing inspiration, this outreach program is doing it all. They represent a message of peach and selfishlessness.
“These refugees are victims of terror, violence and homelessness,” one MYO member said. “It’s nice to know we are able to help. I love the look on the children’s faces when they see us coming.”
In the past six months of helping the refugees learn English, the refugee families have made great progress. The kids have learned to trust and love the program. “There’s no difference between us and the refugees. We are all the same and all want the American Dream,” another MYO student said.
“When we go to St. Leonard’s nursing home and others throughout the Dayton area,” the students say. “Whatever has or is happening to them, we care.” They read to the residents, put puzzles together, or just spend time listening to them.
They make teddy bears for Hannah’s Treasure Chest to provide to children. They feed the hungry and volunteer at the House of Bread.They provide inspiration to those less fortunate.
“I’m amazed at what our young children are doing. I thank Kaukab for doing what she’s doing. I hope the students continue doing this the rest of their lives. Tell people that live here that we’re not terrorists. We’re very responsible citizens and we want to make a contribution to society, just like these students are doing,” one Muslim man said. “Kaukab might be an inspiration in herself, but these kids are an inspiration too.”
“As a teacher, it gives me such joy to see my students exceed above all expectations,” Husain said. “I’m so proud of all of them. They have shown such pride in the community.”
What will they do next?
Can’t wait to see.