Students helping students

Gloire Gatabazi

St. Paul’s students support each other through the Student Refugee Program

Gloire Gatabazi grew up in Kenya with refugee status, living most of his life in Nairobi and eventually relocating to the Kakuma Refugee Camp. When he was in high school, Gloire knew he wanted to attend post-secondary school, but knew that due to his refugee status he did not qualify for government scholarships. Last year though, he left Kenya to study International Development at the University of Waterloo.

Gloire did not choose to come to the University of Waterloo specifically. “I was rather chosen by UWaterloo, and I’m really happy to be here,” he said. Gloire was able to attend UWaterloo through the World University Services of Canada - Student Refugee Program (WUSC-SRP), with the support of current students at St. Paul’s. The program is funded by voluntary student levies, and in Gloire’s case, students at St. Paul’s contributed an additional levy to help with the cost of his meals and residence fees. 

When Gloire heard about the opportunities available through the WUSC-SRP he quickly decided to apply. “Coming to the University of Waterloo is a dream come true as far as achieving one of my goals in life,” he said.

He’s also made friends through the SRP local committee, like Alana Meier who just joined this term. Gloire and Alana met at a ‘Pizza and Politics’ event where international refugees, including Gloire, shared the story of their journey to Canada. Alana was struck by his positivity and insight, and the two have since become good friends.

“Gloire never ceases to amaze and inspire me as a WUSC-SRP member, but also as a friend, I truly cannot wait to see all he is able to accomplish in the coming years,” said Alana.

Gloire is thankful for the opportunities he has received through WUSC-SRP as well. “SRP has helped me achieve my academic goals and it has boosted my morale. It’s made me want to continue to give back to society by participating in initiatives targeted to alleviate difficulties in people's lives,” said Gloire.

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