When 16-year-old Yaser arrived in Australia last year, he spoke little English and hadn’t been to school in over three years. His family had fled Iraq over three years ago, living in Jordan as refugees where there was little time for school.
Yaser now attends the Intensive English Centre at Evans High School in Blacktown and admits that while he is very happy to be going to school again, it is difficult in a new country with a new language. In order to get a little extra help with his schooling, Yaser rides his bike to the SydWest office in Blacktown every Thursday afternoon where he joins more than 20 other children at our Homework Support sessions.
Yaser recalls the first time he asked his youth Caseworker for help with his school work. “I remember that day when I came to Mervat telling her that I am a donkey. I was very disappointed because I could not understand any of my school subjects especially Math and I was worried about my Maths exam. Mervat encouraged me and explained the subject in very simple way. She speaks my language and makes things easier for me. I got good confidence in myself that I will do good in my exams and I did. I got 75%,” Yaser said.
“SydWest gives me the confidence in myself and this is the perfect place to improve myself and my English language. Now I have many friends from different cultures from my school and from SydWest. I am very happy to get good marks in Maths and receive a certificate too,” he said.
Yaser is one of 60 students who attend SydWest’s homework support sessions held once a week across Blacktown, St Mary’s and Mt Druitt – supported by our Youth workers and dedicated volunteer tutors.