First and foremost, I would like to say thank you for the people and the government of Canada in general and my fellow Canadian students and the Group for Refugees at the University of Regina in particular. They are not only sponsoring me to come from the refugee camp to Canada but also they support, facilitate, and give me a chance to continue my further education at the University of Regina. As a result of this, I came to the University of Regina in 2006 from one of the largest refugee camps in Africa, Kakuma Refugee Camp, through World University Service Canada (WUSC). Currently, I am a fourth year student of International Studies at the University of Regina in the faculty of arts.
WUSC matters a lot and changes the lives of those poorest of the poor Refugees across the globe. It is a non-profit organization which consists of individuals and post-secondary institutions across Canada. Its main goal is to “foster human development and global understanding through education and training”. Particularly, the organization supports refugee students, who are fleeing war or persecution, in order to continue their post- secondary education at Canadian universities and colleges.
I fled from my country in search of peace and freedom mainly due to repression and persecution by the government in my home country, Ethiopia. For this reason, I have been in one of the largest refugee camps in Africa, Kakuma Refugee Camp, for four years. It consists of over 80,000 refugees from nine African countries. My life in the refugee camp was very mixed – most difficult and painful for various reasons on the one hand, and full of valuable experiences on the other.
In the camp basic needs were met with one meal a day. It was full of malaria and poisonous insects, had security problems from bandits, had very harsh climatic conditions, had no employment or chance to move from one place to the other. It was simply an open prison house. On the other hand, refugee camp became an exceptional school for various reasons. The refugee way of life has helped me to understand, to interact, and to communicate with various cultures easily regardless of other differences. Due to firsthand experiences, I feel and consider the injustices, the misery, and the difficulties of others like mine.
Thanks to the people and the government of Canada, particularly special thanks to my fellow Canadian students and the Group for Refugees at the University of Regina, my life is saved and changed in a number of ways. Immediately after my arrival in Regina, I joined English as a Second Language for nine months. Despite my lack of interest in joining ESL at the beginning, in the end I enjoyed it. I got valuable knowledge and unforgettable experience from my fellow students and from lovely instructors.
After ESL, I joined U of R in 2007. I enjoy a wonderful life at the U of R due to a family-like way of life from fellow students and from very helpful University professors. Currently, I am very interested in studying International Studies in the faculty of Arts. In addition to my interest, I strongly believe that at the moment and in the years to come, our major concerns and interests are global in nature so I and the rest of my fellow students will contribute our best for the betterment of our world.
The last but not the least, it is beyond my words to appreciate and to say thank you to the people and the government of Canada on the one hand and my fellow students and the Group for Refugees at the U of R on the other for what they are doing for me and for those who are in need across the world. At the same time, it will be one of the great responsibilities in my life to do whatever is necessary for the people and the government of Canada in particular and for the rest of the world in general.