This past week was International Development Week and it was celebrated at Laurier Brantford by a number of events put on by WUSC. But what is International Development Week and what, exactly, is WUSC?
International Development Week is a time recognized around the world to raise awareness and support for humanitarian efforts across the globe. WUSC stands for World University Service of Canada, which is based out of Ottawa and is headed on our campus by Alex Carson, a 4th year Human Rights student.
On Tuesday, they held an event raising awareness for Shine A Light, a program to bring educational opportunities to female refugees. They raise money to buy lamps for the women so they can study at night, as they are usually busy with chores during the day.
Thursday saw the WUSC’s cake event, their most popular and most successful. They give out cake and thank you cards to students and tell them about the Student Refugee Program. “Almost a hundred per cent of the people we give cake to have never heard of the program,” Carson said. The Student Refugee Program takes one refugee a year and brings them to Laurier Brantford to be a student, helping them with studies, housing and other areas. It is funded by the students themselves, as we each pay four dollars per semester. Laurier Brantford has three refugee students.
Steve Mayang, is a first year Business Technology refugee student from South Sudan. “I really like it here so far. But it’s really so cold,” Mayang said. Mayang, together with the other refugee students, work closely with Carson and the rest of the club to bring awareness of the program to our campus. Mayang explained that this program has been around for a long time and at places like the University of Toronto, it is very popular, with lots of students. But at our campus, and even Waterloo, it is relatively new, so they are still in the process of growing the presence of the program here at Laurier.
On Friday, WUSC held an info booth for Bike Parades. This was to raise awareness and funds for bike ambulances, which are used in developing nations around the world to transport HIV and Aids patients to hospitals when ambulances are not available and they are free to use. To set up a bike ambulance, it costs about $280.
Look for their next event to be held this week, in RCW. They will be selling fair trade chocolate and encouraging students to purchase fair trade products for Valentine’s Day.
WUSC is always looking for more members. The members help in events and enhancing the clubs presence on campus and help with the student refugees transition to Brantford life. To volunteer, email Carson at firstname.lastname@example.org.