COVID-19 campaign donor stories: Charles Saleh
Alumni and friends across the world have demonstrated incredible unity and generosity in response to the COVID-19 Emergency Response Campaign. To date, £416,770 has been raised to support life changing research and students who are facing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic. As well as this, more than 211,500 items of personal protective equipment have pledged by donors. We couldn’t be more thankful to everyone who has been a part of this campaign.
In another of our donor stories, we spoke to Charles Saleh (MSc Project Management, 2012) who told us about his experience studying at the University of Liverpool and what inspired him to support the COVID-19 Student Crisis Support Fund.
Charles was working as a United Nation Volunteer in the Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya when he made the decision to study at the University of Liverpool. Prior to this, Charles received his Bachelor’s Degree in International Business Administration from the United States International University-Nairobi (USIU) on a basketball scholarship. He said, “I needed to further my education to be able to provide proper technical support and add value to my career aspirations […] in a random online search, I landed on the University of Liverpool Laureate online programme which had just opened a Master’s Degree programme in Project Management”.
Charles expressed that studying at the University of Liverpool was “more than a dream come true”. He said “my passion to become a humanitarian worker after experiencing the 1994 Genocide of Rwanda, which had more than a million refugees pouring in the small town of Goma (Eastern Democratic Republic of Congo) where I grew up, was my motivation throughout the many sleepless nights to make sure that I submitted my class work on time and participate in the virtual class activities”. He added, “I started my programme in a refugee camp in Kenya, finished the class modules when I was on deployment during the Libya crisis to Saluum, a small village in North-West Egypt at the border with Libya, and completed my dissertation work in a refugee camp in Chad at the border with Darfur.” Looking back on this experience, one of Charles’ highlights was traveling to the UK to attend his graduation ceremony with his mother.
Today, Charles is a Senior Programme Manager with UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) and has worked in 10 different countries in Africa. When asked about what had inspired him to support the COVID-19 Student Crisis Support Fund, Charles explained “the pandemic has revealed weaknesses and strength in the human interactions, including the impact of small contributions from each one of us to be part of the solution for a better tomorrow.” He added “the crisis has just accentuated the already existing pressure on our daily lives, and I believe any small contribution becomes more visible than ever today to support those students who will be part of the solution in their various field of expertise tomorrow.”
We would like to express our thanks to Charles, who along with more than 130 donors has been vital in providing this lifeline for University of Liverpool students. As more and more students are facing financial struggles as a result of the pandemic, we are grateful to supporters like Charles who have made it possible for students to receive the support they urgently need.
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