WUSC Celebrates 2021 Fall Arrivals
Every year in August and September, members from the WUSC community across the country prepare to welcome a new cohort of refugee youth to Canada. Through our various sponsorship programs, these youth are given the opportunity to continue their studies at Canadian universities, colleges, and CEGEPs, and now expanded to Canadian workplaces.
In total, WUSC will welcome 161 refugee youth from 6 countries of asylum (Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, Tanzania, Jordan, and Lebanon) through the Student Refugee Program (SRP) and new Refugee Athlete Stream (RAS), and HIRES (Hospitality Industry welcomes Refugee Employment-linked Sponsorship). RAS and HIRES are new initiatives this year and we are excited to welcome these first ever cohorts.
Student Refugee Program
In August, we welcomed the first arrivals of the 2021-2022 SRP cohort. Over the next few weeks, 81 campuses across Canada (including 5 new sponsoring institutions) will welcome students and begin to support their integration into their new communities and post-secondary institutions. With the support of students, faculty members, and staff who comprise our WUSC Local Committees, the new SRP students will be introduced to campus life. The SRP, which began in 1978, is the only program in the world to combine higher education with resettlement through a unique youth-to-youth model of support. This year, we will welcome 152 refugee students through this pathway.
Refugee Athletic Stream
Recently, WUSC launched a new pathway of the SRP: the Refugee Athlete Stream (RAS). Three athletes from the Refugee Olympic Team will be sponsored by the Sheridan College Local Committee in Oakville, Ontario for the 2021-2022 academic year through this new initiative under the SRP. These three athletes are: James Chiengjiek Nyang; Paulo Amotun Lokoro; and Rose Nathike Likonyen. WUSC is excited to partner with Sheridan College and UNHCR to make this possible. We look forward to welcoming this first ever cohort of students to Canada through this new athletic pathway in the SRP.
Hospitality Industry welcomes Refugee Employment-linked Sponsorship
The new HIRES initiative builds on the SRP model and looks to further expand access to economic opportunities for refugee youth and strengthen their integration into the Canadian labour market. WUSC has partnered with Camosun College to deliver short-term skills training to equip the HIRES participants with the tools they need to succeed in their workplaces. This month, we will welcome 9 HIRES participants who will be connected to both the skills training and an employment-linked sponsorship in Tofino, British Columbia.