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Every year the UTSU celebrates World Refugee Day to commemorate the success and achievements of everyone who once had a refugee background and honour the strengths and contributions of the student refugee community at U of T who arrive through the Student Refugee Program (SRP). Below are words from the UTSU’s most recent SRP students. Read more about their stories and the Student Refugee Program on our webpage.


Nyandeng’s Story 

Nyandeng arrived in Canada in August 2021 with mixed emotions; while excited to start a new life, part of her was scared to begin again. 

Through the local committee of the WUSC program, Nyandeng received support to integrate into her new life. See what Nyandeng had to say below, and read more about her journey at utsu.ca/student-refugee-program

“Moving to a new country, more so a different continent could be scary to anyone due to the fear of the unknown. I would say my arrival and stay in Canada so far has been a great experience. It would not have been as easy without my local committee’s emotional, financial and moral support. 

My local committee, being my first and greatest family in Canada, always ensured that I am doing well and on track with everything, from academics to health and so on. The UTSU community at large has always been my stronghold through various support programs like Math Learning Centre.

I do not have enough words to express my gratitude to the University of Toronto for giving me and other SRP students the opportunity to pursue post-secondary education, in not only a safe environment but also an environment where we can freely express ourselves. Such empowerment is priceless. 

As we look forward to celebrating World Refugee Day, let us also acknowledge and applaud WUSC for playing an important role in Refugees’ lives.”


Jaffar’s Story 

For Jaffar, coming to Canada through the Student Refugee Program was “a golden ticket”. A refugee for most of his life, he learned to stay positive and look for opportunity as he went through difficult times. On today’s World Refugee Day, he shares powerful words with everyone at U of T.

“World Refugee Day sheds light on the rights and dreams of millions of asylum seekers across the world. 

It not only calls for global attention to the safety of the displaced persons but also pivoting focus on creating transformational opportunities for refugees to thrive and shape a brighter future for themselves.  

WUSC-SRP is one of the many programs that provide sponsorship for young refugees at Canadian universities.”

 

Skylar’s Story 

In 2019, Skylar arrived to Canada from Uganda, one of the most homophobic countries in the world. As a queer youth, Skylar fought for a future where their rights were honoured and protected. 

Through the Student Refugee Program, Skylar has not only experienced safety and freedom, but also has received support to help them thrive. See what Skylar had to say below.

“Hi, My name is Skylar. I use they/them pronouns. I am a former SRP student and current SRP animator at UTSU’s SRP Program: Community Connections.

SRP students who arrive through the UTSU-New College Local Committee are given the opportunity to have professional Canadian work experience. 

While it can be hard to find jobs in Canada, the UTSU provides job opportunities to the SRP student who arrives each year through the UTSU-New College WUSC Local Committee.  It has been very important and helpful for me as through working with the organization, I had an opportunity to learn and grow around a caring and inclusive community. 

Through the provided training, skills, and professional support that the organization and staff members have provided me, I am able to share the learnt skills with the SRP students who arrive and work with UTSU so that they can share their experiences with the future students. 

I am thankful for all the experiences gained and confident that they will set me up for success in future endeavours throughout my career or workspace.”

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