AwerGraduated, Class of 2016

Awer joined St. Paul's in August 2010 when he first arrived in Canada as a permanent resident, sponsored by the World University Service of Canada and the University of Waterloo's Student Refugee Program. He is studying science.

Awer, now 22, was only 12 years old when he was forced to flee Sudan in the midst of brutal attacks on the people in his village and surrounding areas. What he saw at that time was unimaginable horror: people slaughtered, women raped, houses burned down.

He managed to escape to the Kenyan border, not knowing what had happened to his parents, his two brothers and a sister. He settled in Kenya's Kakuma refugee camp, joining tens of thousands of people displaced by civil war.

Awer survived on rations provided by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees and was one of the lucky few accepted into the Lodwar Boys High School.

Excelling at high school, Awer applied and was accepted into the World University Service of Canada Student Refugee Program, which offers the best students resettlement in Canada in partnership with Citizenship and Immigration Canada and universities and colleges across Canada. The sponsored students come to Canada as permanent residents and are eligible for Canadian citizenship after three years in Canada.

Back in the camp, there was nothing to do, and very little hope of a future. Now he has a bright future ahead of him. Awer says,

I am still adapting to life in Canada but I really appreciate the generosity of students, staff and faculty at St. Paul's and the University of Waterloo who contribute to the Student Refugee Program. Because of this program, I can look forward to the future now."

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