Dear CRS students,
In response to the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis, and in recognition of the fact that there are plenty of young refugees outside of Syria that continue to seek safety and hope for educational opportunities, York U has enthusiastically stepped up to the plate and has committed to significant support for the WUSC Student Refugee Sponsorship Program (“York University is taking a coordinated, multifaceted approach to respond to the refugee crisis, consisting of formal supports for volunteer teams, new experiential learning opportunities, and an enhanced tuition and bursary program for refugee students. “)
What this means in practice is that the York WUSC Committees (Glendon and Keele campuses) will now be accepting 5 sponsored students per year (more than double of what they take in now). As you can imagine, the need for friends and supporters for these students is great. The WUSC Committees really, really need volunteers. There are different ways to become involved in WUSC (administration, campaigns, advocacy), but certainly providing psycho-social support (friendship, mentoring, accompaniment, etc.) to facilitate settlement and integration is a big one – keep in mind that most if not all will be coming by themselves, having had to leave their families behind. Social isolation in the first year is especially challenging, never mind the first experience of a Canadian winter!
For those of you still deciding on your volunteer activities for your certificate and diploma programs, volunteering for WUSC would count towards fulfilling this requirement. For others who have already fulfilled their requirements, but still want to be engaged, this is the experience for you!
To learn more about WUSC at York and to contact the Keele or Glendon Campus Committees, please visit this site: http://www.osgoode.yorku.ca/refugees/wusc-refugee-sponsorship/