Madut’s story – from homeless boy to university graduate
After his village in Sudan was attacked, Madut became a homeless boy on a long journey to a refugee camp in Ethiopia. There the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) opened two schools and Madut had the chance to learn English and apply for a student refugee program in Canada. Now he is a university graduate, Canadian citizen and works for IRCC (formerly CIC).
MADUT MAJOK: And I was born in a town called Wau, but we were living outside the rural village, that is, I guess around 12 miles away from Wau. And the government decided to have the counterinsurgency campaign, and the goal was to burn down villages to destroy food, destroy cattle, to ensure that everyone would have no food. And that is how my village was attacked. So we were like the first casualties of that. (BREAK IN RECORDING)
We had a journey of almost two months from where I was born through Ethiopia. The UNHCR did open 20 primary schools in the camp, which is really good. A lot of boys that ended up in the US as the lost boys had had their education there, and it helps them, actually, when they come to the US, because they can speak English. It also opened the way for people like me. Like, had I not gone to school in the camp, I would have never competed for a student refugee program. So yes, the conditions were tough, but for those who were determined to make sure that they change their lifestyle with the minimum that was in the camp, at least something has changed. (BREAK IN RECORDING)
We were issued our visas to come to Canada. That was really good. We were excited. When we flew to Halifax, we were welcomed by a student from Dalhousie that was responsible for the WUSC chapter there at the airport. He drove us to the university, and I made a point of going to student services and I was advised that here you don’t need to be afraid of your professors. Go and talk to them. Which I did. And the prof told me, “If I speak too fast, stop me. Sit in front. Follow me after the class to my office.” I was…and I improved significantly. My goal of working hard at the university was to make sure that I had reclaimed that ability to provide for myself. (BREAK IN RECORDING)
At the moment it has come to the fulfillment, because of the position that I have at CIC now. So I have the job security, and that is the most important thing, you know, when someone wants to reclaim that ability to provide for himself or herself. So when I got my citizenship, I knew that now I have a state that can really stand up for me in a sense, so it was like a big thing for me. It was really a big step, and it came, you know, after my graduation from the university too, so that year was like a huge year for me. I graduated from university, I got my Canadian citizenship. It was really great. 2006 is a memorable year for me.
Video length: 3:06 minutes