World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is a national campus organization dedicated to raising awareness of refugee issues – and to helping refugees come to Canadian universities through the Student Refugee Program.
With the financial assistance of the University of Regina Group for Refugee, an organization made up of faculty and university employees, the local chapter of WUSC sponsors two students annually through the Student Refugee Program, and its members help those students adjust to life in Canada.
To raise awareness for the Student Refugee Program and the plight of refugees around the globe, WUSC will be hosting a mock refugee camp at the U of R on April 4 and 5. WUSC’s Jessica Brown says the event “will highlight the stories of the students sponsored by the U of R, and provide an experience for the campus population and Regina community to experience the sights, sounds and smells of a refugee camp.”
Over the next three weeks, with the assistance of WUSC, the Carillon will be running the stories of three of the U of R’s sponsored refugee students – written in their own words.
I was one year old when I left my country Bhutan and I came to Nepal with my family in the year 1990 as a refugee. I spent almost 19 years in refugee camp with the very worst environment and a disastrous life. The houses are not well made, such as bamboo, thatch and mud. The United Nations, UNHCR [The Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees] and other organizations are involved and helping with food, education, medicine, and shelter, but that is not enough.
I had many challenges in my life and I had a lot of struggles to survive. It was very painful. There is no choice in refugee life, everything is very difficult, like to get a job, to travel, and more. It is very laborious to acquire something, or to have a good future. Sometimes there were conflict between locals and Bhutanese refugees. At that time it was very large risk, local people were very haughty. There was lots of crime, violence, and rape. Many people were killed because of freedom. There is no human right, if “Money speaks, truth remains silent”. Many people were dying from different diseases like cancer, TB, and pneumonia. They were dying because of financial problems, and medication and treatments were not doing well due to the doctors, because the doctors were not well trained. This is my experience in refugee camp.
I finished my grade 10 in refugee school, after I did my intermediate level in local campus, out of the camp. It was very difficult to get good education. I got some support from UNHCR and Caritas Nepal to study intermediate level. I had very hard life in refugee camp but, I had lots of friends, sometimes they helped me and sometimes I helped them. I miss my friends, my refugee camp, the cultural and natural beauties. Now I am in Canada and I am a student.
I feel a very big difference between Nepal and Canada. I am very happy to become a Canadian resident and I am enjoying the winter and snow. I have a better future.