Thursday, April 25, 2013

A-Z Challenge: W is for World University Service of Canada (WUSC)

Of all my A-Z posts, this one is the most important to me. World University Service of Canada (WUSC) is my life. I've been volunteering with WUSC for eight years and every year since I initially got involved my life has changed substantially for the better.

WUSC works towards a world in which all young people can grow up in safe, secure and supportive environments; have access to high quality education opportunities from early childhood to adulthood; are able to secure fair, decent and fulfilling employment; and can actively participate in all aspects of their society's development.

Every year through WUSC's Student Refugee Program (SRP), Brandon University sponsors a student from a refugee camp in Kenya, Malawi, or Thailand to come and gain a post-secondary education. It is these students that have continually changed my life over the past eight years. Each and every one of them climbs in and finds a comfortable place in my heart to call their own. The cross-cultural awareness that my eyes and mind have been opened up to is unfathomable and indescribable. All I can say over and over and over again is that WUSC and the SRP and these men and women have changed my life, made me a better person, taught me about humility, and renewed my faith in humanity time and time again.

The conditions in refugee camps are atrocious. Think of the worst living conditions you can imagine and multiply that by ten; those are the conditions of a refugee camp. Imagine what the conditions of their original homes must have been to force them to seek asylum in a place as awful as a refugee camp. That is where the students that live in a special corner of my heart come from.

When I meet them for the first time they are quite timid, so very thin, and incredibly thankful. The timidness slowly fades away as time passes and so does the thinness, but they never cease to be thankful for the opportunity to study in Canada, for the opportunity to change their lives, for the opportunity to have a real future. In actuality, though, it is I who am thankful. Thankful to know what it means to be a Muslim in Somalia, thankful to hear stories about witch doctors in South Sudan, thankful to taste real Ethiopian injera, so thankful to have these epitomes of the human spirit in my life.


Their success is my success. Their pride is my pride. Their happiness is my happiness. Their lives are my life.

I've been volunteering with WUSC at Brandon University for eight years. I'm leaving for Fredericton and the University of New Brunswick (UNB) in a few short months. As soon as I made up my mind to accept UNB's offer, I immediately contacted the WUSC committee at UNB Fredericton and got put on their mailing list. No matter where this world takes me, WUSC will always be a part of my life.

If you are interested at all in making a monetary contribution to WUSC, please visit my fundraising website. WUSC is strictly not-for-profit and all donations over $10 CAD will receive an official charitable tax receipt. 

Help me help these students; you won't regret it, I promise!


  1. What great stories! As I like to say, volunteers are like rare gems. I'm sure everyone is very thankful ... and that must mean the world to you.

    Wonderful post.

  2. This sounds like a great project! I've had the privilege of teaching some refugee teenagers from Sri Lanka and Afghanistan and, while their stories were heartbreaking, they were the most motivated and inspired students I have ever had the privilege of working with.
    Great work! :-)
    Short Story Ideas

  3. Brandy, what a worthy project and it is such a give and take venture which is how volunteerism is supposed to work. Awesome work! Im off to your other site (it may have to wait for a pay week--but I will be sure to flag it.)Im all about the volunteerism thing!

  4. Hi Brandy, thanks for dropping by and leaving a comic on my crazy theme...I appreciate it!

    The SRP sounds like a great cause and an even greater opportunity for young people to get an education when, otherwise, they might not have the chance.

    Thumbs up for that!

    We're in the home stretch, so have a great rest of the A to Z Challenge :)

  5. Congrats on doing this. Good job! And great stories too. :)

  6. Brandy, this is such an AWESOME blog! You inspire me!! I look forward to reading more...

  7. Dear Brandy, you are a beautiful person, surrounded by beautiful people. I don't have any money right now. If I did, I would wholeheartedly donate to your cause.
    love, jean xox

  8. Sounds like you've been blessed as much as they have. What a lovely post. So nice to meet you!

  9. Bless you and the people you inspire Brandy. All it takes is a helping hand sometimes to lift someone up and help them on their way. It is so good for the soul of the giver and receiver.

  10. WOW that's awesome, Brandy. Very inspirational.
    My husband and I are hoping to move to Canada (after a stint back in England) in a few years. We've visited three times and totally fell in love with the country and the people. We're actually heading to New Brunswisk, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland for a holiday in the next year. I can't wait!