Student Challenge Aims to Raise Funds for Refugees

March 07, 2011 - News Release

University of Guelph students will live entirely within campus boundaries March 7 to 11 to support a refugee and her child.

Through Refugee Campus, students hope to raise funds to sponsor a young woman and her child from the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya to come to Canada.

“We are her last chance,” said Shawna Smith, a member of the U of G committee of World University Service of Canada (WUSC). “All the proceeds raised will go towards sponsoring her and her child to come to Canada in September in pursuit of a higher education at the University of Guelph through the Student Refugee Program.”

About 15 students will take part in this week’s event.

“The purpose of the challenge is to put ourselves as close to a situation of displacement as possible,” said Smith. “We only have what we can carry. We do not have a shower in our place of residence. We do not have a bed or even a personal space to ourselves.”

As part of Refugee Campus, a panel will discuss refugee issues March 7 at noon in the University Centre. Gatjang Deng, Allison Broadbent and Monique Miller will discuss refugee camp experiences and WUSC’s efforts to address issues faced by camp occupants.

“Throughout this week we hope to raise awareness about our organization, WUSC, the Student Refugee Program and the refugee issues that individuals in refugee camps face every day of their lives,” said Smith. “Our group is passionate about the work we do, and we are always looking for new members. What we do directly affects the lives of the individuals we sponsor.”

Donations will be accepted this week in the University Centre or online at Online donors should earmark donations for the University of Guelph committee’s student refugee fund.

For more information on the WUSC local committee, visit or email

For media questions, contact Communications and Public Affairs: Lori Bona Hunt, 519-824-4120, Ext. 53338, or, or Deirdre Healey, Ext. 56982 or

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