Montréal, Québec, 6 juin 2023
The intercultural days consist of a series of activities targeting the student population of UQÀM. These activities are organized by the young members of WUSC-UQÀM (World University Service of Canada) Myriam Bravo, Enora Perez, and Margaux Bastyns. They aim to raise awareness about the situation of refugees and encourage moments of intercultural exchange.
The activities that took place included a workshop for writing welcome letters to the next refugee students, a human library featuring young refugees, and intercultural pairing conference days.
The organization’s vision is primarily focused on accessibility to higher education through intercultural sponsorship: “Unfortunately, many young people do not have access to higher education in refugee camps, even though they have the potential to pursue university studies. Our sponsorships allow them to come to Quebec, obtain permanent residence, and continue their studies at UQAM. We take care of integrating these young people socially, academically, and professionally.” In fact, according to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, only 3 percent of refugee adolescents will have the opportunity to access higher education. Apart from intercultural sponsorship efforts, it is this desire to integrate young people into the social environment that primarily led to the idea of intercultural days: “To perpetuate our services and encourage the university community to assist in this issue, it is important to organize awareness events. Organizing events on intercultural pairing not only creates opportunities for interaction but also raises awareness about the importance of living together and informs the population about current global issues.” (Myriam Bravo, President of WUSC-UQÀM).
WUSC-UQÀM hopes to become a more visible service for the student community, continuing their mission while facilitating the creation of partnerships and projects related to the situation of refugees: “Our group has several sponsorship projects in sight. We hope to sponsor three individuals per year, but the first contributions will only arrive in September, after the arrival of the young people. Despite this challenge, it is imperative for us to make our mission and values known. This way, we can develop our partnerships and build loyalty within our community for our events.” (Myriam Bravo, President of WUSC-UQÀM).
Both participating students and guests have benefited from the events and the opportunities for interaction and awareness that have resulted from them: “I was aware of the situation of Ukrainian refugees, but by talking to one of the young people, I realize that war is everywhere and that many people around the world need to be welcomed.” (participating student).
“I enjoyed sharing my story; I think many people are unaware of the complexity of our experiences. I hope that by discussing with them, I can make a difference.” (guest student).
About Chantiers Jeunesse:
Chantiers Jeunesse is a non-profit organization founded in 1980 with the aim of promoting the development of active and engaged young citizens by allowing them to contribute to the improvement of a community’s living environment and thus develop their potential.
The Social Impact Accelerator Program of Chantiers Jeunesse offers former volunteers from Canada’s Youth Service programs aged between 15 and 30 years old a microgrant of up to $5,000 and guidance focused on starting new projects related to community service and civic participation or expanding and sustaining ongoing projects. This program was designed to enhance the entrepreneurial skills of young people and develop long-term projects.
President of WUSC-UQÀM
 HCR CANADA (2023). « Statistiques pour les réfugiés. Les plus récentes données statistiques sur les déplacements forcés à travers le monde. »sur le site Agence des Nations Unies du Canada. Consulté le 12 juin 2023. https://www.unhcr.ca/fr/au-canada/statistiques-sur-les-refugies/