Conestoga news

April 8, 2019 10:34 AM

Conestoga student advocates for access to education at global conference

Public Relations student Ahmed Ullah, a rights defender for the Rohingya people and youth coordinator and co-founder of the Canadian Rohingya Development Initiative, was invited to present at the Global Education and Skills Forum held in Dubai March 22 to 24. The forum is considered the world’s largest education conference.

Ullah spent the first 15 years of his life in a refugee camp before coming to Canada in 2009 and is committed to raising awareness about the plight of his people: there are approximately 1.2 million Rohingyas living in refugee camps in Bangladesh having been forced out of Myanmar.

During the conference, Ullah stressed the importance of education for Rohingyan youth: “I’m begging every single one of you in this room. You can change lives … I’m proof that refugees can be anything so long as you give them a chance.”

Following the education forum, The Waterloo Region Record published an article detailing the experiences Ullah and his family have faced as refugees, the challenges he encountered trying to access education before arriving in Canada, and his role now as an advocate.

"I constantly tell myself: I do not live this life for myself," Ullah stated in the article. "I live this life for those who are suffering."