PROUD ACHIEVERS: English tutor Joy Williamson with Katima Ahmadi and her son Mohammad Hossain.
PROUD ACHIEVERS: English tutor Joy Williamson with Katima Ahmadi and her son Mohammad Hossain. contributed

Migrant English Program aids new arrivals

AFGHAN migrants Katima and son Mohammad Hossain Ahmadi are settling in to Rockhampton thanks to the Adult Migrant English Program (AMEP) delivered by CQUniversity.

Mrs Ahmadi's husband, Jafar has been in Rockhampton since 2012 and works at the meatworks while he waits for his family visa to be approved.

AMEP Case Manager Tina Stritzke said they arrived in August after living in Pakistan for a number of years as their homeland of Afghanistan is not safe for Hazara minority peoples.

"Katima and Jafar have eight children and four family members have commenced evening classes in basic language studies at CQUniversity's city campus two nights a week," Ms Stritzke said.

"Katima and Mohammad Hossain have had no formal education and do not read or write in their mother tongue [so] learning is slow but they are very motivated."

The Ahmadis' daughters Saleha and Nazrin also attend classes.

With the help of the AMEP Volunteer Home Tutor program, they have been matched with a community volunteer, Joy Williamson, who visits them at home and works with them on basic language and settlement.

"In four short weeks Katima has learned to write her own name and spell the letters for her name. Mohammad Hossain has learned to write his address," Ms Stritzke said.

"Considering their lack of any formal education, this is a true achievement and they are so proud, as we are."

AMEP, which is funded by the Australian Government Department of Education and Training, provides up to 510 hours of free English language tuition to eligible migrants from the skilled, family and humanitarian visa streams, to help them learn English to assist with their settlement in Australia.

For more information please visit www.tafeqld.edu.au/tells or www.education.gov.au/adult-migrant-english-program or https://www.cqu.edu.au/courses/study-areas/work-and-study-preparation/amep



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