Fundraising dinner supports Student Refugee Program at VIU

April 17, 2012 - 2:38am

The Vancouver Island University WUSC (World University Service of Canada) Local Committee is gearing up to host its largest annual fundraiser, the Harambee Gala Dinner.

Proceeds from the event will go towards supporting the Student Refugee Program at VIU.

“The Student Refugee Program (SRP) is a truly unique initiative”, says local committee Communications Chair, Gabrielle Bishop. “For over 30 years, WUSC has been sponsoring former refugees, mainly from Africa and Asia, to come and pursue their studies in Canada.”

Hailing from Sudan to Somalia, these students are granted the unique opportunity to start a new life in Canada - part of this includes the being given the opportunity to become a permanent resident. As refugees, they lose their legal citizenship status when they flee their home country due to persecution, discrimination and violence.

"SRP (Student Refugee Program) students are our sources of inspiration and motivation.” says local committee Co-Chair, Celia White. “Their life stories, their knowledge of world issues and their commitment to pursue their dreams inspires all of us to do our share as global citizens.”

To date, the VIU WUSC Local Committee, a university branch of the Canadian international development organization, has sponsored four students through the SRP.

Understandably, this comes at an incredible cost. The VIU WUSC Local Committee has completed various fundraising initiatives throughout the year and is now preparing for their biggest fundraiser yet, Harambee: an evening of food, dance and enjoyment, with all proceeds going toward the sponsorship of our two incoming students.

The event will take place on Saturday, April 28th at 6:00 pm, at the Costin Hall in Lantzville (7232 Lantzville Road). A delicious four-course meal will be prepared by local chefs and music will be provided by a lively local band with African flavor. Included will be a silent auction and fair trade sales.

Tickets are $55.00 for community members, $40.00 for students, and a reduced rate of $475 for a table of ten. Tax receipts will be available on request.

For tickets, silent auction item donations, and additional information, contact the local committee at:

Phone: 250-758-3834



Tags: In the Community

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