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RSIR : A Quest to Help Refugees
How Recent Events Have Affected the Immigrant-Helping Lunch Club
After the withdrawal of over 15000 U.S troops, Afghanistan was plunged into civil arrest.
It’s government collapsed due to attacks on it’s provincial capitals and more than 2.2 million
sought to leave the country. Around 400 refugees were flown to Korea, where they’ve mostly
been welcomed by public support. Although the general public does in fact support the
settlement of Afghan refugees, some politicians have openly criticized South Korea’s response,
reigniting South Korea’s long-fought refugee and immigrant debate. “How can we be sure none
of the 400 refugees are affiliated with the Taliban?” Cho Kyung-Tae, a South Korean politician,
argued. The conflict has reached DIS as well, with RSIR (a lunch group) aiming to inform
students and help immigrants get settled in Korea.
RSIR, Research and Services for Immigrants and Refugees, is a student organized
lunch club focused on raising awareness and helping refugees. “What our organization (RSIR)
is wanting to do is we’re wanting to help raise funds to help with the basic necessities for any
family that does come to Korea, whether they are the recent refugees that came from
Afghanistan or any refugee or immigrant group.” said Mr.Bergan, the teacher chaperone for the
club. Not only has RSIR raised money for donation to various immigrant groups, the group has
also made announcements to better educate DIS, visited and helped refugees living in Daegu
with their errands, and sent basic necessities to immigrants.
The members are passionate about their cause, with many joining the club to genuinely
help out. When asked about why he joined the club, Samuel, one of the club’s founders in 12th
grade responded “We created this organization because there wasn’t much awareness at the
time about refugee situations and foregin situations in terms of social issues in Korea. And
especially in our school, since we only handle things mainly about the U.S, nobody really knew
about it (social issues). We wanted to help awareness in terms of a global perspective and
wanted to actually do something to help the people around us.”
Covid-19 has unfortunately limited the type of activities and fundraisers that the club can
do. “Because of Covid-19, there are restrictions on what we can do.” explained Samuel. “Still,
we are hoping to plan many different things and do fundraisers outside of dress down days.” he
said. Though Covid-19 has had its effect on the group’s activities, the club aims to continue its
services as best as possible. Not only are the members of RSIR planning fundraisers like
non-uniform days and goodie bags, they’re also planning on reaching out to refugees to learn
more and check in. “Of course for future projects, we also want to try to either visit or virtually
contact some of the refugees or some of the refugees we contacted before to see how they’re
doing right now, to see if we can be of any help to them.” commented KD, another one of the
With the pandemic getting better and restrictions getting lifted, RSIR has become more
active. In fact, the lunch club hosted its first fundraiser of the year yesterday : a non-uniform day.
The students’ responses were positive and many could be seen wearing colorful and individual
outfits. The event was financially successful as well, raising almost _________ won for the
After the success of the non-uniform day, more events are sure to come.
Make sure to donate
Works Cited Lee, S., & Slavney, N. (2021, October 2). Afghanistan Crisis reignites South Korea's refugee debate. The
Diplomat. Retrieved October 23, 2021, from
Rashid, R. (2021, August 26). South Korea designates arriving Afghans as 'persons of special merit'. The
Guardian. Retrieved October 1, 2021, from
Faiez, R., & Seir, A. (2021, August 16). Taliban sweep into Afghan capital after government collapses. AP
NEWS. Retrieved October 21, 2021, from