Edmonton Refugee and Emerging Communities Awards

The Edmonton Refugee & Emerging Community (EREC) scholarship fund was established at Edmonton Community Foundation (ECF) to enhance the quality of life for refugees and members of Emerging Communities living in the greater Edmonton area. Africa Centre, ECF and Canadian Western Bank (CWB) have established a partnership in the management and delivery of the EREC Scholarship initiative. To facilitate the operation of this initiative, Africa Centre collaborates with the emerging community through a scholarship advisory committee.

In this context, “Emerging Community” is defined as a group of people who are immigrants, refugees, or part of a family that includes immigrants or refugees from a particular cultural, national, or ethnic background where a significant number of the members of that community face barriers to full participation in education and employment. Without limiting the generality of this definition, barriers may include but are not limited to poverty; unemployment; lack of / or limited English language skills; low levels of education and skills; and, limited access to mainstream services and resources.

Each year typically 40 students receive awards ranging from $1,000 to $3,000. In 2023, we received 64 eligible applications. The size and number of awards may vary.

What are the eligibility requirements?

In order to meet the criteria for an award, applicants must demonstrate that they are the following in their application:

  • A member of an emerging community.
  • A resident of the greater Edmonton area and able to provide their social insurance number in order to receive their award. Please note: International Students are not eligible for this award.
  • Attending a school in the greater Edmonton area, or intending to attend a school in the greater Edmonton.
  • The program of study must lead to a recognized undergraduate, professional or applied degree, a diploma, or certificate. Academic upgrading, college preparation, after degrees, graduate programs, and international students are ineligible.

Priority will be given to students who:

  • Are current residents of Edmonton or the four surrounding counties.
  • Provide evidence of positive community involvement and volunteerism. Particularly pertaining to refugee and emerging communities.
  • Demonstrate commitment to studies, maturity, and likelihood of their program leading to improved employment opportunities.
  • Are attending a public institution.
  • Experience financial need.

Consideration will be given to students who:

  • Have experienced breaks in education due to their refugee experience.
  • Are from a family where one or both parents have low literacy in their first language.
  • Speak a first language other than English.

Important notes:

  • This award cannot fund programs retroactively. If you have already completed a program it is not eligible.
  • There will be no appeal process. Once decisions have been made all of the money will be allocated and changes will not be possible.
  • The fact that a student receives other bursaries, scholarships or awards does not prevent the student from benefiting from an award, but may affect the amount of the award or may affect the comparison of that student’s financial need to another student’s financial need.
  • No awards will be provided until the student is accepted into the desired qualified program.
  • Students will be eligible to reapply for this award in future years. However, students can not receive this award more than twice.

What documents do I need to provide?

With the completed application form, applicants must provide :

  • A Letter of Reference in support of your application. This can be from a current or past employer, a volunteer contact, a board member, or another person who knows about your community and/or employment involvement. The letter must outline your past involvement and anticipated future involvement. Preference is given to professional/formal letters.
  • Before an award is confirmed, recipients must provide proof of enrollment in the program of choice .
Apply for an EREC Award


Need help with your application?

Contact scholarships@africacentre.ca for support with your application and answers to your questions.