A Rare Opportunity for Burmese Refugees

In 2012, WUSC reinstated the sponsorship of Burmeserefugees from Thailand – that ceased in 2008. One of themwas 20-year-old Kin Pwonglay.

Kin was born in Mae Surin, Karenni Refugee Camp #2 inThailand after her parents fled Myanmar when their villagewas burned down and they lost their land, livestock and all oftheir possessions. Despite the hardships of life in camp, Kin completed the highest level of secondary education offered and then studied two more years to graduate with distinction and earn the highschool equivalency that qualified her to finally applyto WUSC’s Student Refugee Program (SRP). Kin went throughthe qualifying process and was sponsored by the Universityof Regina, Saskatchewan.

Kin says, “The day I found outI was accepted to the program, I could not believe it. My life was changed.”

Kin arrived in Canada in early September with six othersponsored students from different camps along theThai-Myanmar border. She was lucky that three of thesefemale students were sponsored at the same campus. Onarrival, they were met with bright signs and cheering fromthe University of Regina WUSC Local Committee members.

Kin found it difficult adjusting to the new social andeducational system. However, with the support of theWUSC LC who bought text books, registered them for classesand eased the transition to life in Canada, she and the otherswere able to complete their first year.

Kin is planning to pursue a degree in Nursing.

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