The Hub My journey as a refugee studying at Athabasca University

My journey as a refugee studying at Athabasca University

By: Bazibuhe Muhabwa (Bachelor of Professional Arts)

Transforming Lives: Learners of AU is an ongoing series where real students and alumni share how flexible online learning at Athabasca University (AU) made a difference in their lives and communities. Submit your story.

I was born in a small village called Walungu in South Kivu, Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). I always dreamed of completing my studies and pursuing my career as a humanitarian, but unfortunately, the ongoing war in my country made it impossible to achieve my goals.

Eventually, in 2003, my family and I decided to flee to Zambia. Once there, I completed my high school education and received training from the National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers, a team from South Africa.

After completing my training, I was approved to work as a child and youth care worker. Over the years, I have worked in many fields. Most of my life has been spent in a refugee camp known as the Meheba Refugee Settlement, in central Zambia. Despite being a refugee, I am proud to have been able to help other refugees and make a difference in their lives.

“Choosing Athabasca University as a refugee in Edmonton offers a unique set of advantages. ”

– Bazibuhe "Bazi" Muhabwa, Bachelor of Professional Arts student

Committed to welfare of immigrants, refugees

I am affectionately known as Bazi, a dedicated scholar and advocate who has made remarkable contributions to the grassroots (equity-deserving) communities of Edmonton. I graduated from NorQuest College in settlement studies and am currently pursuing a Bachelor of Professional Arts, Human Services Major at Athabasca University.

Throughout my academic journey, I have demonstrated an unstoppable commitment to advancing the welfare of immigrants, refugees, and marginalized communities in Canada and across the world.

My main objective at Athabasca University is to add skills to help my career.

On that note, I have a natural talent for leading and connecting with people, and I find great satisfaction in helping individuals of all ages overcome the challenges they face in their settlements.

Why I chose Athabasca University

Choosing AU as a refugee in Edmonton offers a unique set of advantages.

First, AU’s commitment to online education enables flexibility, allowing me to work and pursue my studies while adapting to a new life in Canada.

The diverse range of programs allows me to align courses with my interests and career goals, promoting a holistic educational experience.

Additionally, AU is a very inclusive and supportive community that fosters a sense of belonging—crucial for someone like me, who is navigating the challenges of being a refugee in this new environment.

Accessibility helps break down barriers

The university’s emphasis on accessible education breaks down barriers and provides opportunities regardless of background.

Edmonton’s welcoming atmosphere, combined with AU’s commitment to diversity, creates an environment where I can thrive academically and professionally.

Choosing Athabasca University means investing in education to join a community that values unique journeys and builds a brighter future in the new home.

Looking to the future

I am confident that after graduating from Athabasca University, I will pursue a second degree in refugee protection. In addition to that, I have been involved in a writing project, and I will soon publish my book, My Career Took Off in Meheba, a refugee camp in Zambia.

Transforming Lives: Learners of AU

Read more profiles of AU students and grads in our series Transforming Lives: Learners of AU.

Bazibuhe “Bazi” Muhabwa is a full-time student enrolled in Athabasca University’s Bachelor of Professional Arts, Human Services Major. He enjoys supporting refugees from all parts of the world to settle in Canada. He resides in Edmonton, Alta.

  • February 22, 2024
Guest Blog from:
Bazibuhe Muhabwa (Bachelor of Professional Arts)