After a more than a two-year Trinity College refugee sponsorship process – amid a global pandemic – Moses Yousif arrived in Toronto in August 2021. Now 21 years old, Moses is hoping to have a tremendous first Canadian winter.
However, Moses’s journey started when he was four years old, when he and his family left for Kenya due to the civil war in their home country of Sudan. Since then, Moses grew up in Kenya, mostly in refugee camps. Although Moses’s story is full of heartbreak – he was separated at a young age from his father, who served in the army – his journey is one of perseverance and hope.
Back in Toronto, Lulu Karra came to study at U of T in 2018 on a World University Service of Canada (WUSC) scholarship as a member of Victoria College. In 2019, Lulu contacted the Anglican United Refugee Alliance (AURA) in the hopes of finding a sponsor to help bring her younger brother to Canada. AURA connected her with The Rev. Canon Andrea Budgey, Trinity’s Humphrys Chaplain, as AURA was aware that the College had donated funds remaining from a previous refugee sponsorship.
With AURA and the Church of Saint Stephen-in-the-Fields as partners, Trinity’s sponsorship application process began for Lulu’s sibling. Shortly after, a closer familial connection developed between Moses, Lulu and the College – Lulu joined Trinity, working part-time as a member of Welcome Desk team. “It was a coincidence that my sister, Lulu, was working at the same college – Trinity College – with my sponsorship team!” Moses said.
“I count my sponsorship as a blessing and a door to fulfilling my dreams. I would like to give my heartfelt appreciation to my Sponsorship Team from Trinity College, AURA team, and Lulu, my sister. They all worked tirelessly to ensure the whole process came to a success,” Moses said. “My Sponsorship Team ensured I settled in well and they offered everything I needed for a start in Toronto. My sister has been both a mentor and a friend to me. It’s such a blessing having her, I can’t stop celebrating her.”
Throughout the 12-month sponsorship, Andrea will be in regular contact with Moses, connecting with him several times a week. And along with the Trinity Sponsorship Team – including Sylvia Lassam, Joyce Fitzgibbon, Hilary Cunningham, John Duncan, Stephanie Silverman and others – they have helped him, virtually and/or in person, get oriented to life in Toronto. From picking Moses up from the airport quarantine hotel and collecting donated furniture and other practical household items, to helping him obtain government ID and medical services. And his Trinity Sponsorship Team continues to be available to help answer his questions and provide support.
“Moses is an impressive, bright and engaging person. He is energetic and takes initiatives,” said Andrea, noting that last fall, he found a part-time job on his own and is developing new skills and increasing his work experience.
Last term, Moses also met with Jon Bray, Trinity’s Career & Academic Advisor, to talk about next steps in his educational pursuits. “I’m always looking for opportunities to do better and achieve my goals. My future plan is becoming a big-time data analyst. I’ve always loved working with computers and coding,” said Moses, noting that he hopes to enrol in an undergraduate degree in computer science this fall. “I believe education in general is a powerful equalizer, opening doors for us to free ourselves from war and poverty and to change the world to be a better place.”
Although the formal sponsorship arrangement will end this August 2022, Andrea hopes Moses will still feel like he’s a member of the wider Trinity community. “I’m hoping we can continue to have a relationship of support. We would like to help Moses to make a successful launch into post-secondary studies, such as purchasing a laptop suitable for an IT professional. If you are able to contribute to this, you can make a charitable donation [click here and select “Trinity College – Saint Stephen’s Refugee sponsorship”]. For those who have already supported Moses, thank you. You are helping to make a significant difference in a young man’s life,” Andrea said.
Although Moses has faced many hardships, he has an optimistic outlook and his journey is far from over. He offers this advice to others who may be facing adversity: “Have a purpose and practice positivity, and try to focus on the good things. A challenge only becomes an obstacle when we bow to it, and we should not let that happen.”
(Photos courtesy of Moses Yousif)
Categories: College News