Scholarships a fitting way to ensure Mandela’s legacy

World University Service of Canada applauds the Government of Canada’s recent announcement of new scholarships in honour of Nelson Mandela. Like Mandela, WUSC believes education is the key to human development.

“Education is the surest path for leaders to emerge and invoke lasting change in Africa and other regions deserving better governance, freedom, human rights and prospects for safe, fulfilling lives,” says WUSC Executive Director Chris Eaton. “That is why WUSC works to provide education, employment and empowerment opportunities to youth in Africa, Asia and Latin America,” explains Eaton in a message sharing and applauding the announcement.

The Harper government’s new African Leaders of Tomorrow Scholarships will allow early-career African public sector professionals to come to Canada to study and gain knowledge of best practices in public policy and governance, recognizing the importance of a strong public sector to advance sustainable growth and poverty reduction in developing countries. Further scholarships for Canadians will support post-graduate research in areas valued highly by Mandela such as democracy, human rights, freedom and leadership. This fitting tribute to the great South African statesman, who died on December 5, also underscores the important role that Canadians can play in making sustainable development happen through initiatives such as those led by WUSC.

Currently, WUSC has 200 professionals employed in 24 initiatives in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America in addition to over 1000 volunteer cooperants and active members. And the WUSC network of alumni and partners extends to many thousands of people around the world who have been involved with WUSC’s work to improve lives and livelihoods through education of millions of youth in the developing world.

KEY WUSC INITIATIVES

  • Notably, WUSC runs a unique scholarship program offering a rare opportunity for promising and hard-working refugee students to pursue college or university studies and settle in Canada. Over 1300 sponsored refugees have graduated through the Student Refugee Program since 1978.
  • WUSC has strong expertise in international scholarships having managed more than 2000 scholarships in the last 30 years for sponsors and students from Asia, Europe, South America and Africa, most notably from Botswana with whom we have a robust and successful International Scholarship Management program. 92% of students graduate successfully in Engineering, Agricultural Economics, Business, Computing and Health Administration, for example, and take the professional knowledge home to Botswana.  
  • Also, WUSC operates Uniterra a leading volunteer cooperation program with CECI (the Centre for International Studies and Cooperation) that places 450 skilled volunteers each year to contribute to development projects in 12 countries.
  • WUSC is at the forefront of ensuring refugee and other disadvantaged girls gain access to quality education at primary, secondary and post-secondary levels, for example through the Kenya Equity in Education Program. (For further information on WUSC programs – consult wusc.ca)

WUSC – World University Service of Canada – is a leading Canadian non-profit organization in international development that, for more than 65 years, has devoted the efforts and expertise of a remarkable network of academic institution, private companies, volunteers and civil society partners to improve the lives and livelihoods of young women and men in developing countries.

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