Paying tuition has always been a burden for students. I’ve cried looking at my outstanding balance, knowing how light my wallet will be in the end — but I constantly remind myself that there are others in the world who cannot afford to be in university.
There are plenty of people who do not have the resources available to achieve the level of education they desire and others who are offered opportunities and cannot take them due to perilous circumstances. Education has always been important to my family, and I see why it is, but I never understood why they’re so passionate about it until recently.
The student chapter of World University Services of Canada at the University of Saskatchewan strives to bring education to people in the world who cannot otherwise afford to be in school through the Student Refugee Program. The SRP takes in refugees, who are living in fear and danger daily, and transfers them to Canada to achieve better education as well as a better life.
I had the chance to hear a WUSC student share his experiences and gratitude for the organization at an event that I had attended to photograph. I could see the fear he felt in his face, as he told his story, and how relieved he was when he came here to Canada.
For the first time, I understood why my parents have always pushed me to be in school. I was hit by the real significance of the man’s story — having gone from a life without the privilege of opportunities to living a life full of possibilities. That is when I decided to join WUSC U of S and help as much as I can, because their vocation, though it may seem small to many, is humongous to those it affects.
WUSC U of S recently made an appeal to the University Students’ Council to support their cause by securing more funding for the organization. This appeal requests a two-dollar increase in student fees across all colleges at the U of S, which will go towards the organization.
The simple math? There were about 21,000 students enrolled in the 2016-17 school year. Assuming that number stays about the same, this increase to student fees would put an extra $42,000 towards WUSC initiatives. This money will help improve lives of refugees from Syria, South Sudan and Afghanistan — giving them more opportunities to learn and achieve credit through their relocation to Canada for university education.
WUSC’s motto is “Education changes the world.” This statement can be taken in many ways. The way I see it, if you help change someone’s life through education, they will do the same for others in return. If more people know of and support this initiative, it will create a domino effect that can truly change the world for the better.
I will wholly support a two-dollar increase to our student fees, even though I am struggling myself, because now, whenever I see and pay my debts to this great institution, I can be proud that I am helping someone else achieve the education they too deserve.
J.C. Balicanta Narag / Photo Editor
Graphic: Surian Soosay / Flickr