Global Action Week for Education: Elaf’s Story

27 April 2022

It’s Global Action Week for Education – and the perfect time to tell you about how JRS is actively responding to the need for employment, income generation, and satisfying career paths for young refugees. 

Having the chance to work, earn a living, and be self-reliant is one of the most effective ways for refugees to rebuild their lives. Refugees have their dignity and hope reaffirmed when they acquire the means to earn their own living and support their families. 

This is Elaf’s story: 

Like many other Iraqi refugees, Elaf struggled to find opportunities to continue her studies in Jordan. It was hard to find a scholarship as an Iraqi refugee in Jordan, and to sustain the costs of higher education, such as the tuition fees for universities.  

“I took so many activities at JRS, including English courses, and recently I attended a women’s empowerment workshop,” Elaf said. “It helped me so much. It improved my English, my personality, and it also made me make new friends.” 

With the help of JRS, Elaf is about to embark on a new adventure as a university student. She was able to register for a unique sponsorship program called the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) Student Refugee Program, which supports over 150 refugee students per year through active partnerships with over 100 Canadian universities and colleges.  

This program combines resettlement with opportunities for higher education and is powered by a youth-to-youth sponsorship model that empowers students in Canada to play an active role in the sponsorship of refugee students. Local students raise funds and awareness for the program on their campus and in their community and play a critical role in offering day-to-day social and academic support to newly arrived students. 

“Through the WUSC sponsorship, I hope I will find a better opportunity for higher education, find a good career, and I hope one day I will be a role model in women’s rights, especially refugees,” she says. 

Elaf’s story is unique among refugees – but it doesn’t have to be. You can learn how governmental and non-governmental organizations alike can help more refugees access post-secondary education here.