On Saturday 21 December e-Learning had its final graduation for refugee families for 2019.
Eleven families have been working with their e-Learning tutors over the past six months to gain digital skills to be able to learn and participate more easily in New Zealand society. All refugees have a story, some are extremely traumatic, and (almost without exception) they are very grateful to be in New Zealand and safe!
There were six different ethnicities represented in the graduating families (Colombian, Syrian, Afghani, Somalian, Sri Lankan, and Iraqi). In all, twenty-three people received certificates at the graduation ceremony. Maureen Zaya, (Ministry of Education Regional Refugee and Migrant Coordinator) spoke to the guests and graduates before the presentation of the certificates. She encouraged the refugees to persevere with their learning and make the most of the opportunities they are given.
After the presentation of the certificates, there was a short presentation given by Lacksika (Sri Lankan) about Malaysian Cuisine, to show-case her new digital skills. She also answered questions about the presentation in English. She said her favourite Malaysian dish was Nasi Goreng (mine too!).
Before the group photo and the lunch, there was an opportunity for any of the graduates to say a few words (in their own language, or in English). Several (six) came forward and thanked e-Learning, the 2020 Trust, and the Ministry of Education for the programme and the opportunity to learn digital skills (most did not have this opportunity before). They were particularly grateful to be able to learn how to learn, support their families learning and communicate more effectively.