UNBC, Student Society Step up to Support Syrian Refugees
Prince George, B.C. – The University of Northern British Columbia and the Northern Undergraduate Student Society (NUGSS) have teamed up to offer full sponsorship for five Syrian refugees.
The initiative will be run through the World University Service of Canada’s (WUSC) Student Refugee Program that NUGSS has been involved with for 10 years.
This program, which UNBC students contribute to through a small fee to NUGSS, pays to sponsor a new refugee each year.
On top of this, UNBC announced Monday it will contribute $180,000 to sponsor four Syrian refugee students through this program.
President Dr. Daniel Weeks said the funding was made possible through the generosity of UNBC donors who have contributed to a special fund – the Area of Greatest Need (AGN).
“As you all know over the past couple of weeks the ongoing conflict in Syria has caused millions of people to flee from their homes,” he said. “And as a northern university for the north but globally minded, we consider it very important that we devise a northern strategy to help with this crisis.”
The contribution had the enthusiastic support of NUGSS president Duncan Malkinson.
“I’m ecstatic about it. We’ve been speaking with university administration over the last couple of weeks to hopefully get the resources in place to make this happen and we’re so thrilled.”
Prince George Mayor Lyn Hall was also on hand to both congratulate the university and offer its support.
“The City is prepared to help in any way we can and partner with UNBC. This project is a necessity,” he said.
“We recently had a resolution go to UBCM around the Syrian refugee crisis and also one from Whistler so there’s support even on an provincial level to take a look at what we can do during this devastating time.”