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A chance to assist migrants
Old 28th April 2011, 01:24 PM   #1
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Default A chance to assist migrants

A chance to assist migrants

People who want to help new migrants settle in Australia should do what Sarah Cullen, 27, of Blacktown, did.

Ms Cullen is a Mission Australia Home Tutor Scheme volunteer who has been tutoring Manizha Zaki from Afghanistan in English for four years.

"I have learnt a lot from Manizha and gained a wonderful friend," she said. "Watching her English skills develop has been inspirational.

"When I first met her, she could barely say 'hello' and 'goodbye,' let alone hold a conversation. She can now speak English on the phone, make appointments, use public transport and even apply for jobs.

"I work full-time with Josephite Community Aid in Seven Hills, but the commitment to the Home Tutor Scheme is only one to two hours a week and the time I spend with Manizha is well worth it."

Ms Cullen has benefited by picking up practical knowledge, including recipes for Afghani dishes.

Manizha Zaki praised Ms Cullen's tutoring and said they had become good friends.

Mission Australia's Home Tutor Scheme team leader Mina Zolfaghari said the service played a crucial role in helping new Australians settle here successfully and contribute to their communities.

"Not knowing our national language can be a huge barrier in settling into Australian life," she said.

"Imagine not being able to make a doctor's appointment for a sick child or buy a train ticket."

To become a volunteer or for more information, call (02) 9635 1543.


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