TWO young women who grew up in refugee camps have received $3000 bursaries to help them become nurses.
They are among 15 students who have received Logan City Tertiary Education bursaries.
Having witnessed the poor health care offered to fellow refugees in overseas camps, Blessing Htoo, 17, and July Soe, 18, want to become nurses so they can give back to the Australian community that welcomed them with open arms.
Blessing and July were born in separate camps and knew little of the outside world until the UN helped their families migrate to Australia.
Blessing, a Beenleigh State High School pupil who lived in a refugee camp near the Thai Burma border, moved to Australia seven years ago with her family.
"Australia has given me so many opportunities,” Blessing said. "I would go to school each day in the refugee camp and not know if I had a future.
"We were excited when we found out we were moving to Australia. We knew we were going to have a bright future."
July, who graduated from Woodridge State High School last year, said the medical treatment offered in her refugee camp was of such low quality that many people died.
"That is why I have decided to become a nurse,’’ she said. “I know I will be able to help people once I finish my degree and I am very grateful for this bursary."
The bursaries started 20 years ago after Henry Prokuda, who is now a partner with Corrs Chambers Westgarth Solicitors, put the idea to council.
"This program demonstrates in spades what can be done at a local level to help make available to the young people of Logan one of the best things that can be given to them – a leg up with their ongoing education," Mr Prokuda said.
In all, 180 bursaries have been awarded.
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