For Rozy Karim, finishing her degree through SFU NOW: Nights or Weekends is the continuation of a dream she set down over 30 years ago.
Karim’s life has been extraordinary. In the 1970s, she and her family experienced horrific violence and political unrest in Rwanda. Her husband was jailed, their home was looted, and her brother-in-law was killed in his prison cell. But Karim had a spirit that was not easily broken. She’d learned the value of hope, education and hard work from her mother, who had sold potatoes to send her daughters to school. So Karim and her husband fled across the mountains to the Canadian embassy in Rwanda, where their refugee visas were processed and they made their way to Canada.
In the last three decades, Karim has worked hard, watched her boys grow into men she is proud of, and opened a successful business. She has also given back to the country and the community that mean so much to her: She calls Canada, who took her in and “hugged”her, she says, her “big mom.” Karim interprets for women who have recently immigrated to Canada, volunteers with her mosque, and raises funds for cancer research.
Still, she wants to do more: She dreams of representing Canada with a philanthropic organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for people in underdeveloped countries in Africa—people she understands well.
“I want to share my strength with others,” she says. “I’m a survivor, and I want to help others survive.”
First, however, the organization requires Karim to finish her university degree.
And so, at the age of 58, she says, she had an epiphany: She’d raised her children. It was finally time to return to her dream of finishing her bachelor’s degree.
Discover, Explore and Learn more via SFU NOW student: ‘I want to share my strength with others’ – Continuing Studies – Simon Fraser University