By Jasminee Sahoye
The United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Canada is trying to make a difference in the lives of temporary foreign workers who have been working on farms, food processing, cashiers and live-in caregivers.
The union, which represents thousands of workers in the various industries such as food, manufacturing, health and hospitality, is offering scholarships, each worth CAN$500, to young people with ties to temporary foreign workers.
Any migrant or temporary foreign worker in Canada can nominate a family member in their home country for the scholarship. The nominee must be between 4 and 25 years of age; attending or planning to attend an educational institution; and is either the child, grandchild, sister, brother, niece or nephew of the nominator.
“Migration and the hope of providing a better future for our children have always gone hand in hand. As the largest private-sector union in Canada, UFCW Canada understands the importance of education. As such, we are offering 20 scholarships…,” the union said.
The 20 recipients of the 2012 scholarship are a diverse group of young people from the global south, ranging in age from 6 to 24 — attending schools in Guatemala, the Philippines, Jamaica, Sri Lanka, Kenya, El Salvador and Mexico.
“Education Has No Borders” is the spirit of commitment which led to the creation of the UFCW Canada Migrant Workers Scholarships. In a span of three years, over 13,500 scholarship applications from around the globe have been received.
“It has certainly been a privilege to be able to share in our recipients’ education,” says UFCW Canada National President Wayne Hanley. “With a commitment to justice, we continue to ensure that more workers entering Canada under the draconian Temporary Foreign Workers Program are empowered to improve the lives of their families back home through the UFCW Canada Migrant Workers Scholarship.”
Only those persons who entered Canada to work under the Temporary Foreign Workers Program such as a live-in caregiver, a seasonal agriculture worker, or a temporary foreign worker in any industry (“the Applicant”) are eligible to apply. An applicant can nominate his/ her children, grandchildren, sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews. The closing date for applications is December 20, 2013 at 5:00 p.m.