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World University Service

Honourable senators, I rise today to speak about a formidable organization, the World University Service of Canada, or WUSC. I visited WUSC headquarters in Ottawa last December and was so impressed with the spirit and culture of the people that I had to share it.

WUSC is a network of professionals, students, volunteers, faculty and community leaders who together provide opportunities to some of the world’s most disadvantaged youth. Its mission is to foster human development and global understanding through education and training.

These are individuals and post-secondary institutions who believe that all people are entitled to the knowledge and skills necessary to contribute to a more equitable world. In fact, WUSC has the largest network of local committees on university and college campuses in Canada. The majority of members consist of students, faculty and staff in over 80 active post-secondary institutions across the nation.

There are about 1,200 international students in Canada.

WUSC’s award-winning program is based in over 14 countries and has been developed to address local needs and reduce poverty, all delivered with local partners to ensure sustainability.

For example, current projects include the Plantation Communities Project in Sri Lanka, teacher certification in Afghanistan, the enhancement of local leadership in Indonesia and protecting the rights of women and girls living with HIV and AIDS in Malawi.

Since 1978, WUSC’s Student Refugee Program has helped address shortages in post-secondary education by enabling student refugees to pursue their studies at Canadian universities and colleges.

More recently, they introduced Students Without Borders, an innovative program that allows Canadian students to apply their academic knowledge to a practical work environment in the developing world while earning credits.

Honourable senators, WUSC’s motto is “Education Changes the World.”

Please join me in commending the World University Service of Canada for its promotion of international volunteerism, youth leadership and partnership. I wish them a happy thirty-fifth anniversary this year.