University opens its doors

Laurier partners with Daughters for Life to sponsor women to study at WLU

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Two women from the Middle East will be sponsored to study at Wilfrid Laurier University this fall through the partnership between the university and the Daughters for Life Foundation.

The partnership was finalized when the two parties came together on Jan. 13 to sign the agreement.

Both women will be aided by full scholarships provided by the university in any field of study they choose.

Dr. Izzeldin Abuelaish founded the Daughters for Life Foundation after the death of his three daughters Bessan, Mayar and Aya from an Israeli shell attack in 2009.

His determination in refusing to hate as well as his daughters’ love of learning served as inspirations for the foundation.

The selection process starts with the foundation, as they proceed with the initial recruitment. The students whom are chosen are then recommended based on the university’s standards, how they fit within the school and must meet the school’s requirements.

Gavin Brockett, associate professor for the departments of history and religion and culture, and coordinator of the Muslim studies option, said this is an opportunity to make a difference.

“It’s a response to a global impact. We often feel important for not having the power to help [those in need]. This is one way to make a difference,” said Brockett.

A handful of universities and academic institutions are participants in the foundation, such as Trent University and New College of Florida. Its inception at Laurier began almost two years ago.

Annie Serez, co-president of Daughters for Life Laurier, said there is a high student involvement as students have lobbied to start the club with the help of Laurier International.

“We’ve got a core group of about 15 people who have really been pushing hard. So it’s the students that have really gotten it started here, and there’s going to be much student involvement when the international students arrive as they become integrated to the school,” she said.

The next big step for the club is the Wilfrid Laurier University Students’ Union elections in February when a referendum question will be presented asking for a student levy of $4 to be included as a fee per term.

This will help fund the scholarships of the international students and will raise enough money to support 10 students every year. Despite the number of other universities involved with the foundation, this levy is unique to Laurier.

“After [the referendum], nothing is secure so we basically are relying on the referendum and the student levy for the success for the rest of the students to come so that’s our next biggest thing,” said Serez.

Brockett looks forward to learning from the international students and believes that this cause resonates with the Laurier student body, as 60 to 70 students were in attendance at the signing last week.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity to make a difference.”

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