Education

Doral Academy students trying to help the Syrian children

From left, Doral Academy 11th graders Juan Laguado, Ariel Garcia, Juan Torres and German Fernandez.
From left, Doral Academy 11th graders Juan Laguado, Ariel Garcia, Juan Torres and German Fernandez. frivas@miamiherald.com

A group of Doral Academy students is trying to help save the children of Syria.

Juan Laguado, Ariel Garcia, Juan Torres and German Fernandez, best friends and 11th-grade classmates, created a Go-Fund-Me page to collect funds to provide humanitarian aid to the children of Syrian. Their goal is to raise $5,000. As of Thursdsay, they had raised $270, with 23 people contributing in 16 days.

They have partnered with the Save the Children, a non-governmental organization that promotes children’s rights in developing countries.

On April 4, dozens of Syrians, including children, died from chemical bombings in the rebel-held Idlib Province in the northern part of Syria. Witnesses said warplanes dropped bombs of chemical gas, killing more than 80 people and sickening hundreds.

The White House has said Syrian president Bashar al-Assad was responsbile for the attack. Russia, a longtime Syrian ally, has said the facts about the attack have yet to be determined.

“Seeing the news and pictures of the attack gave me a strong and emotional impact, especially because there were a lot of little children hurt, due to the gas and bombings,” said Juan Laguado. “There’s no help for the children, so together with my friends, we want to help in any way we can.”

The students hope to inspire their classmates, teachers as well as members of the community to donate contributions in any amount.

Doral Academy Principal Carlos Ferralls has been very supportive of the students’ efforts.

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From left: Doral Academy 11th graders Juan Torres, German Fernandez, Juan Laguado, Ariel Garcia and Principal Carlos Ferralls. FELIPE RIVAS frivas@miamiherald.com

“What Juan is doing represents what our students are about. Not only are they committed to their education, but they are committed to their society and the world that they live in,” he said.

Laguado and his team do not consider themselves to be activists.

“I’m a person that cares. We are all the same. If anyone is down, I am my brother's keeper. It is my job to help them out. Those are my morals,” Laguado said.

Luz Adriana Baez, Laguado’s mother, is proud of her son and his friends’ efforts.

“They’re in an age when school, parties and social media is all kids think about, yet Juan is worried about helping the little children in Syria,” Baez said. “I hope that they can reach their goal, and inspire others to follow their efforts.”

How to help

To donate to the Save the Syrian Children fundraising efforts, go to https://www.gofundme.com/savethesyrianchildren

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