Congratulations to all the winners and nominees at the 2012 WUSC International Forum!

2012 International Forum

WUSC Alumni of the Year Award:

This award recognizes the outstanding commitment and contributions by alumni to international development and global citizenship.

2012 Winner:

Thant Thuzar and Sai Lat were instrumental in helping WUSC and the Student Refugee Program in the reinstatement of the Burmese sponsorship from Thailand. As former sponsored students Thant and Sai knew first-hand the life changing impact the SRP had on their lives and so they work tirelessly to help other Burmese refugee students during the sponsorship process. From posting calls for applicants to conducting and short listing interviews, Thant and Sai go above and beyond the call of duty. They say it is because they want to “give back to WUSC” but they are also giving back to their home country.



Local Committee of the Year Award:

This award recognizes outstanding contributions of a group of students to international development and global citizenship.

2012 Winner:

Over the past two years the University of Guelph Local Committee has become one of the most active and engaged committees in Canada. They have organized many successful campus and community activities throughout the academic year, but the Student Refugee Program (SRP) has remained a primary focus. On top of various SRP events and awareness-raising they held a successful referendum to increase support for the program on their campus. Their innovation and commitment show that the Guelph Local Committee is here to stay.



Lewis Perinbam Award for International Development:

The award recognizes significant volunteer efforts that improve people’s lives in the developing world, that engage and inspire Canadians and others to undertake volunteer action, and that identify new ways of thinking and/or addressing difficult development challenges.

2012 Winners:

Robert Gough is the founder of the Western Heads East (WHE) program, a Western University initiative that helps improve the quality of life for those living with HIV and AIDS in East Africa. The program is based on a probiotic yoghurt developed through the research of Dr. Gregor Reid and Dr. Sharareh Hekmat. This probiotic technology helps build up immune response and improves general nutrition for people suffering from HIV and AIDS or malnutrition. Mr. Gough was instrumental in rallying the Western community to raise start-up funds for a community kitchen in Tanzania, where East African women began production of the yoghurt. Now there are over 15 of these kitchens in Tanzania, Kenya and Rwanda. Just last year, Mr. Gough’s efforts led to a generous donation, which will provide probiotic yoghurt free of charge to 1100 people living with HIV and AIDS annually.



Local Committees’ People’s Choice Awards:

The Local Committees’ People’s Choice Awards celebrates the achievements of outstanding WUSC Local Committees across the country. Local Committees can submit their nominations for the awards, which will be announced during the 2012 WUSC International Forum.

2012 Winners:

Outstanding contribution to Student Refugee Program (SRP): Acadia University (Wolfville, NS)

Committee on the rise: Vancouver Island University (Vancouver, BC)

Event of the year: Wilfred Laurier University (Waterloo, ON)



George Atkins Communications Award:

The annual George Atkins Communications Award recognizes rural radio broadcasters for their outstanding contribution to food security and poverty reduction in low-income countries.

2012 Winners:

Emmanuel Asamoah is the General Manager of Rite FM in Ghana. He was a catalyst in transforming this commercial station into one with a mission to serve the agricultural community and promote social development. Emmanuel currently hosts three programs: Time with the CEOs, about agricultural entrepreneurs; Era of the Researcher, discussing research solutions to farmer challenges; and Agric Forum, which covers the agricultural news of the week.

Lazarus Laiser is a journalist, media trainer, and agricultural radio program host with Habari Maalum Media in Tanzania. As scriptwriter for Farm Radio International, his accomplishments include a series that highlighted maternal health issues by following a couple preparing for childbirth, and an award-winning script about an innovative machine that uses bicycle power to process maize. Lazarus also played key roles in Farm Radio International’s recent research initiatives.

Visit for more information.

Related Stories