Confidence is everything

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Help a former refugee like Saraswati learn English and realise their dreams.

As a charity, we rely on funding, donations and volunteers to continue our important work – ensuring everyone who comes to New Zealand can join in and feel included.

Saraswati fled to a refugee camp in Nepal when she was a small child. When she arrived here in 2009, her English – learnt in the camp – was not enough to do the things you and I take for granted, like make new friends and find a job to help support her family.

With her home tutor, Saraswati built up enough confidence with her English to start venturing out.

As a result, she’s joined a community garden in Palmerston North and, with her new-found language skills, loves discussing the best way to grow chillies in New Zealand.

Her English is coming along in leaps and bounds; she’s even interpreting for former refugees at the local hospital. Saraswati also practices English with Smriti, her three-year-old daughter. “I am so proud, she will have two languages,” she says.

Saraswati wants to work with the elderly, and will continue, with help from her home tutor, to work hard on her English so she can get the necessary qualifications and land her dream job. Her 87-year old Bhutanese grandmother, Ganga Karki, is her role model: “I want her to be proud of me”.

With your help, we can reach out to more people who, like Saraswati, are working to build a new life for their families.

Read Saraswati’s full story and more in Connecting Cultures issue 21.


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