RESPECT University was established to provide post-secondary instruction to refugee students under the guidance of tutors from around the world. We see this as a logical extension of our mission to link refugee and non-refugee schools worldwide.
RESPECT International was founded in September 2002 and has its headquarters in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada. RESPECT is the acronym for: Refugee Education Sponsorship Program; Enhancing Communities Together. Marc Schaeffer is the founder and International Co-ordinator.
The organization has an ever-growing number of affiliate organizations working with refugee students across the world. A list of the current affiliates can be found on the affiliates page of the RESPECT website.
RESPECT has three main goals:
- to build awareness of refugee issues among youth around the world
- to connect international youth to refugee youth by pen friend letter exchange
- to encourage young people to organize awareness-raising events to teach others about refugee issues and raise funds for their refugee school.
Each tutor works with five or six refugee students. Assignments are delivered betweeen the tutor and the students using conventional mail services. The students are selected by RESPECT local coordinators as being those most enthusiastic and likely to benefit from the programs.