Ann – 2014
“As we are just about to “graduate” our family (the Begum’s) from the VoRTCS program we look back on how far they have come. We started working with the family in 2011 – Mum, Dad and 7 kids, the youngest of who was born in Queensland. The family is very proud of this fact. Since then they have had anything but a smooth path – the father has left the family, they were evacuated and needed rehousing after the floods, have since lived in 5 different houses and are still coping with traumas of their extended family living in Burma. But they remain extremely grateful for the opportunities they have been given since arriving in Australia.
Mum, as is typical, has been the slowest to master English, but is off to TAFE this year to fine tune her language skills. Hopefully this year she will also pass her driving test which will enable her to be much more independent.
The eldest son has started studying economics – a course often interrupted by his trips to one of the islands where he works as a translator at the Detention Centre. He will become the main breadwinner for the family and is also looked on as a leader in his community in Brisbane where he has begun organising programs for the youth. His English was fairly reasonable when we first started but we have been able to polish it up, helping with curriculum vitae’s, job applications, University applications and, most recently, with Citizenship applications and accompanying documentation.
The next 5 kids are performing well at school and over the years we have helped with many an assignment and recently the older boys are filling in applications for after school jobs (unsuccessfully so far). The eldest daughter (Year 12) is studying hard and hopes to be accepted at University to study nursing. The twin boys (Year 11) are showing preferences for engineering and professional soccer. We have negotiated the path of Centrelink forms, school enrolments, C.V’s for school Work Experience, Learners permit applications , QTAC admissions and also, happily, successful Citizenship application forms and testing for Mum and eldest daughter.
While it will be sad to leave them we do so with pride in the fact that they are now Australian citizens (almost – just waiting for the Ceremony) and are well on the road to independence. They are thrilled to be Australians and are looking forward to giving their best to their new country”.
Stephanie – 2014
“We are proud to have tutored the Abdus family and are confident of their ability to succeed. They are optimistic and generous and have seized every opportunity with enthusiasm. They have achieved a level of independence where they’ve successfully integrated into the neighbourhood and community.
They have an established daily routine, children attending and engaged at school, competently shop, utilize public transport, have obtained a driver’s license, understand basic budgeting and household accounts, know how to seek medical attention and where to seek further advice and help.
During our time with them our team help with English conversation, literacy and numeracy skills with both parents and children, homework tuition with the children, direction and explanation on: letter writing, medical appointments, emergency procedures and services, school reports, household bills and notices and Australian citizenship applications.
The family has become engaged and proud members of the community, offering valuable skills and knowledge to Australia with a strong ambition to see their children and themselves (the parents) continue their education and pursue respectable careers”.
Steve – 2013
“The Reda family arrived in Australia in 2006 from Sudan, where all four children were born into refugee camps. While they were well established in the community they struggled to navigate the complexities of the Australian education system, and so, in 2012, turned to Vinnies’ VoRTCS Program.
Each Tuesday evening, we would spend time with the Reda family, assisting them with English language speaking and reading, routine university and high school work. Our team helped the family to write CVs and provided career guidance and mentoring to enable the family to graduate from high school, progress through University and into full time careers.
When the Reda family graduated the VoRTCS program in Novmber 2013, the mother, Beza, had gained a full time position as a hospital cleaner at a highly regarded Brisbane hospital. Daughter Dina has commenced her third year of university, studying International Relations, and with the help of volunteers is currently completing a semester of her course in Washington D.C. Beza’s son Hani finishes high school at the end of 2013 and commenced University in 2014”.