Farzana Nazreen Nisha’s connections with English Language Partners are multilayered: student, intern, volunteer and employee – some roles happening simultaneously!
Farzana arrived with her grandparents after finishing secretarial studies in Suva, Fiji. “When I came to New Zealand, I just felt like I had seen heaven.” Not a bad first impression of Aotearoa at all!
Farzana joined English Language Partners (ELP) in 2015, with the aim of improving her English. She’s done this in spades, going on to complete a Computer Technology and Business Administration course at Whitireia Polytechnic.
It was while interning with ELP that Farzana’s amazing office skills were quickly spotted, and her multilayered connections with the centre began. She wanted to give back to the community in the same way that she had been helped, so she trained as a volunteer ESOL home tutor, teaching new Kiwis at home and also assisting with classes.
While she’s now employed with the centre as a teaching assistant, Farzana continues to offer her own time running events, translating and relieving for other classes, giving her time generously to help others settle in as well as she has.
“I can speak in Hindi, English and a little bit of Fijian. I want to help people in any way I can and do the best for our community,” Farzana says. “Setting examples for this new generation!”
Porirua centre’s former manager Jacqs Wilton, says Farzana’s a delight in class, both as a learner and volunteer. “She befriends and supports other students.”
“She’s now so skilled she can carry out relief support when a teacher’s away,” says Jacqs. “She’s a highly valuable member of ‘Team ELP.’”
Farzana gives a huge thank you to ELP for all their help and encouragement. “It’s the friendly team,” she says. “The support they give so learners in need can settle in is amazing.”
“Kiwi newcomers should never feel lonely. Learning English is the first step to your dream job.”
Farzana’s outstanding volunteering was recognised at Porirua’s 2021 Civic Awards, with Mayor Anita Baker presenting her award on 21 June, at Pātaka Art and Museum. The ceremony honours the contribution of volunteering across a range of community service areas, including culture and education.
Farzana says she enjoyed the evening. “It was special to hear what people are doing for the community,” she says. “It’s an evening where people feel their work is appreciated.”
It was also a recognition that Farzana’s on the right path.
“Helping more people, creating positivity and following my grandfather’s legacy.”
English Language Partners runs regular volunteer tutor training nationwide. Click here to find out more and register.