Education is opening a door for refugees not only to come to Canada, but to make them employable once they’re here.
Father Michael Bechard is the Priest Chaplain and Director of Campus Ministry at King’s University College. He says, “one thing that we’re really convinced of is that education is the best way moving forward”.
Bechard has helped spearhead a refugee scholarship initiative at King’s. Since the beginning of the 2014/2015 school year, they have raised over $100 000. This money has gone towards waiving all academic fees for the refugees that receive the scholarships. King’s has so far welcomed one individual from Iraq, three young people from Rwanda, a family of five from Syria, and there is a family of five in queue coming from the camp of Jordan.
Western University and Fanshawe College are also contributing to the cause. Both institutions have established 10 scholarships for Syrian refugees.
Fanshawe’s VP of Student Services Cathie Auger says “to be successful in Canada, post-secondary education is important” and believes “it’s a very supportive environment”.
Fanshawe and Western still await Syrian refugees to apply for their scholarships.