19th April 2018
Syrian refugee, Fadileh Ramadan is celebrating getting her first voluntary job two years after coming to the UK and learning how to speak, read and write in English.
Not speaking any English, Fadileh could not read or understand the English language when she first arrived in York. Her breakthrough moment was enrolling on the ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) course at York College - learning to communicate in English with a class of like-minded people from a range of different nationalities.
Starting with the English alphabet, progressing to writing, speaking and listening, and learning Maths in a classroom of friendly people with a supportive tutor, she gained in confidence and started volunteering at the Leeds Refugee Council. After a successful interview, Fadileh is now working with a group of Arabic women who are new to the UK. She says: “Speaking Kurdish, Arabic and English means I can communicate effectively with them, and I understand their fears and struggles.”
Fadileh also has regular volunteering slots at a local charity shop, at York Art Gallery and at York Theatre Royal where she helps other people integrate into life in England.
Having seen the difference the ESOL course has made to her life, in the near future Fadileh wants to continue her studies, gaining further qualifications in English.