Each year, millions are forced to flee their homes and seek protection from harm due to conflict, natural disaster, persecution and other unforeseen events. A staggering 15 million people worldwide have been uprooted from their homes and are living under UNHCR protection in refugee camps.
Although refugee camps are set up as temporary measures in emergencies, many refugee situations become protracted. Refugees are often forced to live in the camps for years, for lack of other options. Millions of girls and boys around the world are growing up in the challenging conditions of these makeshift communities. Refugees face restrictions on their mobility and limited access to work. Students experience interruptions to their education and often have no opportunities for post-secondary education.
WUSC has been dedicated to furthering refugees’ access to education for over 30 years. We know that education is one of the few assets that refugees can develop and take with them, should they be able to return home or settle in a new country. Even for those people who spend much of their lives within a refugee camp, education can be transformative, offering hope in an otherwise bleak situation.
WUSC provides education opportunities for refugee children and youth through:
- providing in-camp education through an after-school program for girls to ensure that they receive equal access to education opportunities. WUSC’s Shine A Light campaign helps raise funds for this initiative;
- sponsoring and supporting student refugees in their resettlement and higher education in Canada through the Student Refugee Program.