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Could you be our next Community Fundraising Trustee?

We are looking for an enthusiastic new trustee to guide our community fundraising initiatives. If you are interested in this position, please click here.

Latest News and Events

04 Mar 2022

Walaa's Story

My name is Walaa. I am a refugee from Syria. I arrived in England in 2016 with my husband and two children.

Despite the challenges of the pandemic, I have had a very active year. I have taken up the post of Education Assistant Co-ordinator for ESOL at The Olive Tree, Exeter, based at St. Sidwells. This has been a new experience for me which I have really enjoyed.  I help Syrian refugee families improve their English, through finding and encouraging volunteer teachers; arranging ESP courses; and helping college enrolment.

Through Exeter Muslim Association, I have taught Arabic on Zoom, to two groups of primary and secondary children. I loved this work, because it reminded me of happy days teaching in Syria and Lebanon.

Having experienced the difficulties myself of arriving in England without knowing any of the language, I am very keen to help others in this situation. I have been working as an interpreter with the sponsors, “Home from Home”, at first as a volunteer and then in a paid position. It is such a nice job.

I have also been studying to complete the degree which I started in Lebanon. I am nervously awaiting the results.

My husband, Hajji, has just successfully completed a master’s degree (merit) in Middle East and Islamic Studies at Exeter University. I am very proud of him.

I hope to set a good example to all refugees. I am very proud of my accomplishments. My dreams are many and I will put all my efforts into realising them. I came to this country without the language and life was very difficult for us. I’ve been in England for 4.5 years now and every year I take on new experiences and challenges. The concept of starting again was so hard for me, but eventually I got there.

I am so grateful to everyone who helped and is helping me and my family since we arrived here. Thank you to RSD and to all volunteers, teachers, friends and colleagues.

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