Sunday, September 26, 2010

Colombian Family Graduation - Course 38

Two days after 57 families graduated from Computers in Homes, an additional 21 families were presented with certificates and computers through the Computers in Homes scheme.

On Friday 24 September 2010 at the Porirua RSA, Abdi Bihi; Ministry of Education and Graham Kelly; Chair E-Learning Porirua presented students with certificates. Labour MP; Luamanuvao Winnie Laban and Kris Faafoi stood close by, Litea Ah Hoi was also present.

21 Colombian Refugee families from Porirua and Lower Hutt were provided ICT training at the Porirua RSA every Friday in Term 3. Funded by the Ministry of Education, each family received access to Computers in Homes and Stepping UP training. The Rotary Club of Plimmerton extended a great wealth of generous support during the term by providing voluntary mentoring assistance to E-Learning Porirua's tutor during class lessons. A translator from Refugee Migrant Services was also available to translate lessons spoken in English to Spanish.

The majority of the Colombian refugees have been subject to a fairly high degree of trauma and almost all have lost family members or have been personal victims of severe abuse as a result of confrontations between paramilitary forces in Colombia. During interviews with Immigration New Zealand all the Colombian refugees highlighted their dream to go to a safe place, find jobs and educate their children.

Trained community volunteer support workers are key participants in the successful settlement of refugees. Working closely with professional staff of Refugee Services, they help provide practical support and establish community linkages during the initial months of resettlement. Refugee Services in Porirua are allocated families to resettle every two months and are currently looking to recruit more volunteers.Those interested to offer 6hrs per week of volunteer support may contact Refugee Services on 237 7946 or email

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