Trent University today announced a fundraising effort to increase its commitment to refugee students through the World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program (WUSC SRP) in response to overwhelming concern expressed throughout the Trent University community over the plight of an historic wave of refugees seeking refuge from war and strife in Syria and Northern Africa.
Trent has been sponsoring one student per year through the WUSC SRP since 1983. The University today announced plans to double that commitment through fundraising, volunteer dedication, and in-kind contributions. The cost to bring an additional refugee student to Trent University through WUSC is $25,000. Challenged to kick-start the campaign today by reaching a first milestone of $5,000, Trent University’s senior administrators have already contributed $6,700 in leadership gifts toward the cause.
"The immediate crisis facing refugees fleeing Syria challenges all of us to deeply examine our role in reaching out to our fellow human beings in need. I have spoken to many who feel a sense of frustration and wish to respond," said Dr. Leo Groarke, Trent's president and vice-chancellor. "I invite our staff, faculty, alumni, students and their families, as well as those in our surrounding communities, to contribute – whether financially, as volunteers, or with in-kind support – to the Trent/WUSC program that provides a clear avenue to a bright future to successful settlement in Canada for refugee students through education."
"Students who come from refugee camps are not the only beneficiaries," added Dr. Mike Allcott, director of the Trent International Program. "Their presence on campus is considered an extraordinary learning opportunity for their fellows at Trent, as well as for families in our community who have gained so much by helping to welcome them to our community. The friendships that result through welcoming, mentoring, and supporting someone from their first days in Canada through to successfully establishing a life in our community provide for lasting life learning.”
Donations to the Trent/WUSC initiative can be made securely online at https://mycommunity.trentu.ca/give-now or by cheque made out to Trent University (indicating WUSC Refugee Trust Fund in the memo section).
Trent University has a long-standing tradition of providing a welcoming home and rich educational environment to refugees from all over the world and has an impressive track record in partnering with WUSC. Amplifying the University’s commitment through today’s initiative sends a strong message about Trent's diverse and welcoming environment - and builds on a tradition of social justice and internationalization.
To help spread the word about Trent’s campaign to sponsor refugee students and encourage the University and surrounding communities to get involved, Trent has launched a new hashtag #TrentUHelps. For updates on the initiative, follow #TrentUHelps on social media.