ISOW is a unique student-led humanitarian initiative that originated in the classroom in 2013. Today it brings students, faculty and staff together to realize Laurier’s commitment to inspiring lives of leadership and purpose.
Our vision is to foster genuine intercultural learning and effective global citizenship by bringing together minds from around the world.
Our mission is to promote active student engagement through the study of the human realities of international conflict today as well as to provide scholarships to international students affected by conflict.
1. The dignity of our international scholars and make it our priority to support them in their personal and academic pursuits.
2. The study of the impact of international conflict without promoting a political agenda.
3. International friendships and intercultural understanding.
4. Effective, collaborative, and culturally-sensitive approaches to leadership among our Management Team members.
5. Organizational transparency and financial accountability to Laurier students and the greater Laurier community.
6. The mutual learning that results from shared experiences within and beyond the university.
7. Integrity in our partner organizations with which we share a common vision.
ISOW’s story began in the winter months of 2013 in a small first-year seminar at Wilfrid Laurier University, where students were finishing up their final projects designed to engage the ongoing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. One of these proposals included having Laurier partner with Daughters for Life, a foundation that works to give young women affected by conflict in the Middle East a university education.
Within a few months, several students who had been part of the original seminar came together with others to translate the project into a student club that could facilitate the proposed partnership. Through countless meetings, student campaigning, and recruitment of additional members, the student club was able to realize its vision through two key developments in early 2015: an agreement with Daughters for Life to sponsor two young women starting in September 2015; and a student levy which was to provide the financial support for these incoming scholars as well as more students in the future.
Following the success of the agreement with Daughters for Life, ISOW members pursued an agreement with Jusoor, an NGO that works to provide education to Syrian youth. In April of 2016, a partnership between Laurier and Jusoor was established to sponsor four additional international students to come to Laurier, all of whom we hope will begin their studies in September of 2016. ISOW will continue to seek out partnerships with new organizations and to sponsor students from other parts of the world affected by violent conflict.
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