Events Selected for Cultural Explorer
Mar 8, 2016
Refuge - Where is Home? Lecture Series
Mar 8, 2016
Refuge - Where is Home? Lecture SeriesRefuge - Where is Home? Lecture Series

Knox Church 345 Pym, Parksville. Tuesdays, Feb. 16 – March 15.

Cost: $8 each or 5 for $35 – bring a Bag Lunch - Tickets/Info: 250-248-3927. Visit:

On March 8th, three speakers will present “Education: Opening Doors to a New Home in Canada,” drawing attention to encouraging female refugee students to seek higher education and providing support for this to happen.

Hamdi Aweys was born in Somalia and grew up in Kenya where she went to both primary and secondary school and lived there as a refugee for 13 years before moving to Canada. After high school, Aweys qualified for the World University Service of Canada Scholarship and was selected by Vancouver Island University, which is among the 70 universities that sponsor students. Embarking on studies in the Faculty of Health and Human Services, Hamdi hopes to pursue a career as a gynecologist.

Jessyca Idi was born and raised in the state of Bahia, Brazil. Due to her parents’ tourism business she was constantly exposed to people of different cultures and languages. This allowed Jessyca to develop communication skills and a keen interest in the world outside her home country. In her High School years, Idi lived in both Italy and France. After graduation Jessyca first studied Veterinary Sciences in New Zealand. But soon her interests changed and she finally chose to enrol in Vancouver Island University, due to its program and more affordable tuition than other institutions. Here Idi is studying for a BA with majors in Global Studies, aiming for a career in international development.

Jessyca and Hamdi co-chair the VIU – World University Service of Canada Local Committee.

Suzanne de la Barre first developed her passion for community service when she was 17 years old and joined Katimavik – an amazing program that offered young Canadians the opportunity to live and do volunteer work for 9 months in different communities across the country. It was that same love of service that introduced her to the World University Service of Canada (WUSC) in 1997. She worked with WUSC for 10 years in various positions including as a WUSC volunteer placed with Canadian Physicians for Aid and Relief in Malawi, as coordinator of WUSCs 1999 International Seminar in Zimbabwe, as the Ottawa-based Senior Program Officer on the Refugee Sponsorship Program and the Regional representative for Local Committees for Western Canada, as Manager of Student Programs, and finally, she served for two terms on WUSCs Board of Directors.

Suzanne left WUSC to pursue her PhD, and with that pursuit, she shifted her love of travel and adventure back to the Canadian north – a region she has spent a lot of time in since her childhood. Her research examines tourism and community development across the circumpolar north, in Canada and internationally. She has been a faculty member of VIUs Department of Recreation and Tourism Management for the past four years, where she teaches culture, change, and community development courses in the undergraduate Bachelor of Tourism Management program, as well as in the Master of Arts in Sustainable Leisure Management program. Suzanne will provide an overview of WUSC and its programs, and will share with us some highlights from her work with the Refugee Sponsorship program, including some personal perspectives relating to the theme of this lecture series - Where is home?
Date:Mar 8, 2016
Address:345 Pym Street, Parksville, BC
Location:Knox United Church
Name:Beth Brown
Phone: 250-248-3927
Website:Open Site
Email:Send Email

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