Our volunteers tell us the most satisfying thing about being an ESOL home tutor is the affirmation they receive when their learner tells them they can now do something you practised together in an earlier lesson. These small steps towards independence can be taken for granted, but our volunteers know how important they are.
And learners tell us the most special thing about having a tutor is knowing there is someone they can trust to ask about how things work without embarrassment and shame. It’s the willingness of the volunteer to come into their home and be part of their life, albeit for a short time, that makes such a difference.
This year, almost 2,000 caring New Zealanders took the time each week to teach English and walk alongside a newcomer to our country. The generous gift of time spent by such wonderful champions in preparing, teaching and reporting on English lessons is immense. We hear how these lessons make a difference in learners’ lives, with real examples spoken about, for example, talking with a doctor, child’s teacher, or neighbour, or reading the paper and internet to find work, or getting a learner driver licence, and myriad other examples. Recently, I heard about three learners who now volunteer in other organisations so they can practise their English and give back to the community. How fantastic is that!
So thank you for being such wonderful volunteers and helping New Zealand communities be a safer and more caring place for newcomers. Your work is valuable beyond measure.
Nga mihi nui
Chief Executive Officer