WUSC pushes through pandemic to help refugee students

November 5, 2020

A large group of people wearing masks throw leaves into the air
Wearing masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19, participants cut loose at the Ride for Refuge, which was held this fall to raise money for the Brandon University chapter of WUSC.

Members of the Brandon University (BU) chapter of World University Service of Canada (WUSC) are keeping up their efforts to assist refugee students despite the challenges of COVID-19.

The non-profit organization, with chapters across Canada, administers the Student Refugee Program (SRP) each year, helping students to feel safe, welcomed and supported as they pursue their educational dreams in their new home. The most important role WUSC fills is by providing financial assistance to refugee students, enabling them to receive a post-secondary education and pursue permanent residency in Canada. The organization also helps students succeed by providing them with academic and emotional support.

A group of people sit in a circle in a dark room, with candles on the floor in the middle

In-person events have been cancelled due to the pandemic, but WUSC is continuing its work.

Funded by donations as well as a $15 levy fee that is included in all BU students’ tuition, the local WUSC chapter also raises awareness for the struggles that refugees face through events such as Ride for Refuge, Fair Trade Day, Candlelight Yoga, and Gender Equality Week, although the current

“Some of our events look different or are limited. We were able to hold our Ride for Refuge with some social distancing adjustments this fall, and it was even more successful than we predicted,” said BU WUSC member Jill Collier. “Unfortunately, some of our events have been cancelled, and we expect that will continue into the spring based on health guidelines and the number of people who are away from campus while studying or working remotely. Because of that, we are very grateful to our supporters and to all BU students, who allow us to continue supporting young refugees in this challenging time.”

A drive to gather warm clothing, which will be given to Samaritan House Ministries, is ongoing through WUSC. A fundraising cookbook, featuring more than 40 recipes from former SRP students and WUSC members is also on the way.

While they aren’t meeting in person, WUSC members still keep in touch regularly through monthly video chats and emails. The club also welcomes new members. Anyone interested in joinging WUSC or in pre-ordering a cookbook can contact through: