Cultivating Change: Empowerment and Innovation at the 2023 WUSC Local Committee National Training
The weekend of the 18th August to the 20th August could not go unspoken of! WUSC hosted our Local Committee National Training, bringing together over 80 participants from every corner of Canada. The WUSC National Training is an annual event where Local Committee representatives from various campuses across Canada assemble to learn, collaborate and hone their leadership skills, ensuring the sustainability of the Local Committees. Local Committees are individuals, both staff or students, from a postsecondary education institution who come together with the common goal of raising awareness and engaging people in Canada on global development issues, as well as ensuring that students from the Student Refugee Program (SRP) are welcomed and fully supported through their first academic year at a postsecondary institution in Canada.
These amazing volunteers support SRP students in meeting their fundamental needs and contribute to easing the transition into the Canadian postsecondary education world. Yet, their contribution extends beyond mere sustenance – it encompasses fundraising, event organization, awareness raising about access to quality education globally, gender equality, welcoming communities for newcomers, and the role we can each play in building a more sustainable, equitable and durable world for all young people. The pivotal role of Local Committees is integral to the success and renewal of various WUSC programs.
The training commenced at Algonquin College in Ottawa, with a vibrant gathering of eager minds in blue T-shirts, and the energy, electrifyingly charged with enthusiasm and readiness to learn! The training pivoted around three principal objectives; strengthening the understanding of WUSC’s mission and vision, fostering a positive environment for WUSC leaders to connect and share ideas, and providing a space for leaders to shape their leadership journeys on their respective campuses.
During the training, participants engaged in workshops, discussions, and presentations that cover a wide range of topics including communication strategies, public engagement, intercultural communication, and understanding how they can strengthen their presence on campus. Participants delved into WUSC’s commitment to education and empowerment, exploring how initiatives like “WE LEAD”, “BRIDGE“, or how WUSC contributes to durable solutions for refugees are connected to the work Local Committees are doing in Canada, and align with WUSC’s vision of a better world for all young people.
The outstanding achievements of various Local Committees did not go uncelebrated, with McGill University taking the stage for hosting the “Event of the Year,” the Université du Québec à Montréal was heralded for their unwavering commitment to the Student Refugee Program, the Cégep de Trois-Rivières emerged as the “Committee on the Rise,” while the Collège de Maisonneuve shone for their public engagement endeavors. These recognitions were inspirations, kindling a fire in the room, definitely motivating others as they came up with new and fresh ideas. The event encouraged forward thinking, as participants set goals and action plans for the next academic year of 2023-24. Ending the edifying weekend through a session of culmination, the participants expressed their understanding of education’s role in the community through paintings.
According to participants’ feedback, they not only networked amongst themselves but also gained a deeper understanding of WUSC’s mission and vision as one participant said his understanding of WUSC is ”…like Spider-man, they have a super power and they want to make the world a better place!” Khalid shared during a discussion at the National Training. Participants mentioned they felt more empowered to take on their role as change makers and take positive initiatives within their communities, as they prepared to welcome new students on campus through the Student Refugee Program. On their last day at the event, they were looking forward to kicking -off the school year by spreading the word about the important work that remains to be done for all youth to have access to quality education.
WUSC works to create a better world for all young people. To learn more, start here or subscribe to get highlights straight to your inbox. Interested in volunteering internationally? View our current opportunities. Looking for a new career opportunity? Check out our current job openings. Or show your support for our cause by making a donation.